Jammu: The NC’s provincial president for Jammu and MLA from Nagrota Devender Rana on Wednesday said in the legislative assembly that the army was no holy cow and could be questioned “on any issue pertaining to civilian matters.”
Rana was referring to an incident in his constituency in which a civilian was injured in army firing.
Rana’s statement was criticised by BJP state President and MLA from Jammu West, Sat Paul Sharma. He said that statements made by Rana in the house on the actions of security forces would demoralise them and such statements should be avoided by everyone.
Rana, in turn, accused the BJP of “fake nationalism”. He said it was very unfortunate that the BJP had resorted to petty politicking on an incident of the army firing on a civilian, Hoshiyar Singh, in Nagrota.
“Yesterday when I raised the issue in the house, I displayed utmost restraint while referring to the army and used the word ‘allegedly’. But unfortunately, as usual, the BJP has resorted to fake nationalism drama on which they have been doing their politics ever since their inception,” Rana said.
“In internal matters regarding the safety of civilians, we can question the army and they are answerable if they are involved in any wrongdoing. We cannot continue to treat them as holy cow and let go of any allegation,” he said.
Earlier, while accusing Rana of demoralising the army, Sat Paul Sharma had said, “Some unfortunate comments were made in the house yesterday by Devender Rana wherein he accused the army on baseless allegations. Such statements only demoralise our armed forces.”
On Tuesday, Rana had informed the house that the army had allegedly shot a civilian named Hoshiyar Singh in his constituency. Rana said that after the militant attack on the Nagrota army cantonment, the armed forces had become hyper active and had resorted to frisking and other security-related activities which have put the locals in a state of fear.
On the same day, the Congress legislator form Ladakh had also accused the army of encroaching land in civilian areas in the name of defence activities. He had demanded that such encroachments should be taken away from the army at the earliest.