Yechury says Government's shifting statements on LOC killings not confidence inspiring

New Delhi, Aug. 7 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday said that the contradictory accounts made by the Government and Army, of Tuesday morning's Poonch District ambush of five Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army, doesn't inspire confidence in the Indian troops.

"Yesterday, our Army said the Pakistani Army had done it. The Defence Ministry said that the perpetrators were terrorists in Pakistani Army uniforms. What is true and what is not, one cannot be clear about because of the back and forth from the Defence Ministry. ...Approximately 30 hours have passed since the incident and they are still saying that the matter is being investigated. This constant shift is not confidence inspiring," Yechury said.

Yechury also said that the Parliamentary discussion surrounding the latest LoC killings must focus around what India can do to protect its soldiers.

"We are not asking them to order a war against Pakistan. We are just asking them to do something for the security of our soldiers. There is a weakness in their protection and we have to solve that," Yechury said.

While Pakistan has denied the involvement of its troops in the incident, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday said in Parliament that the intruders were "terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform."

Antony's statement attracted a lot of flak, as it has contradicted the Indian Army's account, which said that the perpetrators were "soldiers from the Pakistan Army."

After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha issued a breach of privilege notice against the Defence Minister, Antony changed his statement in Parliament on Wednesday after Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's approval.

Meanwhile, the Congress has maintained that there is no contradiction in voices between the Indian Army and the Central Government.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said "The Defence Minister did not say anything wrong " while criticizing the BJP-led opposition for targeting Antony.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari appealed to parties not to politicise the Line of Control killings, saying that Antony had made his statement on Tuesday with the information that he had at the time.

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned prematurely again today after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led opposition continued to mount pressure on the Congress-led UPA Government and demanded an apology from the Defence Minister for misleading the nation through his statement.

On Tuesday morning, Pakistan had intruded into Indian territory and ambushed five Indian soldiers who were patrolling an area along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District.

Of the five Indian soldiers killed, four belong to the 21 Bihar Regiment and one to the Maratha Light Infantry. They were killed in an ambush by Pakistani troops. The Indian Army soldiers killed in the incident have been identified as Prem Nath Singh, Shambhu Saran Ray, Vyay Kumay Ray, Raghunandan Prasad and Pundalik Mane. (ANI)


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