Arun Jaitley further said that in 2011, when paramilitary forces put forth this demand, then PM Manmohan Singh set up a committee of secretaries to decide whether paramilitary could be accorded the same status.
Union minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for politicising the supreme sacrifice of CRPF jawans in the Pulwama terror attack. Speaking at an event organised by India Today TV, Jaitley said Rahul is ignorant and speaks on sensitive issues without knowledge of facts. Jaitley said that it was the Congress-led UPA government which refused to take a decision to confer the status of martyr on soldiers of paramilitary forces.
The minister said that any soldier, be it of the Army or the paramilitary forces, killed in the line of duty is a martyr. He said that the only difference is the use of terminology. He clarified that in terms of defence personnel, such sacrifices are called “battle casualty” while in paramilitary, they are referred to as “operational casualty”.
“So many fake statements… it is very unfortunate for a political party… which chose (president) through dynasty or through any other process, at least the person should have knowledge. He (Rahul) repeatedly said that martyr status should be accorded to the paramilitary forces. He doesn’t have elementary knowledge. Anyone killed be it from defence or paramilitary, is a martyr. In terms of defence, he is conferred the status of battle casualty and in paramilitary, he is given the status of operational casualty. He doesn’t have this basic knowledge, he speaks without knowledge,” the minister said.
वित्तमंत्री @arunjaitley का बड़ा बयान, कहा यूपीए सरकार नें पैरामिलिट्री के शहीदों को सेना के शहीदों के समान दर्जा देने से मना किया.#AajTakSurakshaSabha
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— आज तक (@aajtak) March 12, 2019
Jaitley further said that in 2011, when paramilitary forces put forth this demand, then PM Manmohan Singh set up a committee of secretaries to decide whether paramilitary could be accorded the same status.
“It was a confused government. The secretaries said that they could not decide and left the matter to the wisdom of Prime Minister. The Prime Minister ignored the demand of the paramilitary forces. The UPA government refused to give them that status. It is necessary for him (Rahul) to speak but he doesn’t have the basic knowledge,” he said.
‘In 2016, we took a decision that every paramilitary jawan will get Rs 35 lakh and if the casualty is due to violence, additional Rs 25 lakh will be provided. In 2017, we took another decision that the “operation casualty” will also be considered “battle casualty”. Rahul Gandhi should understand this basic thing… it was his party that refused and Modiji conferred it in 2017,” he said.
Jailtey also criticised Rahul for dragging the name of NSA Ajit Doval to train guns at the government. He said that Rahul’s argument that it was Doval who freed JuD chief terrorist Masood Azhar during Kandhar hijack is completely wrong.
“What was Doval in 90s? Doval was additional director IB. In such a situation (Kandhar), the intelligence officials can face them… out intelligence people were in Delhi and Kandhar as well and working on how to repatriate our people. A series of intelligence offices were working at that time of whom many later became DGPs… they were doing background works. An immature person like him (Rahul) makes intelligence agency a matter of public debate,” he said.
The Congress has been targetting the BJP saying it was saffron party’s government that released JuD chief terrorist Masood Azhar in exhange of 190 civilians during the Kandhar hijack. This, after the party questioned the figures declared by some BJP leaders over the number of casualties inflicted by the Indian Air Force in airstrikes carried out at Jaish-e-Muhammad camps in Pakistan’s Balakot.