PM Modi Did Address A Rally Over Phone Just An Hour After Pulwama Terror Attack
A few days back, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shooting a documentary in the Jim Corbett National Park just after Pulwama terror attack, which claimed lives of more than 40 CRPF Jawans. Rahul Gandhi in a series of tweets on February 22, condemned PM Modi of his actions and tweeted that three hours after the martyrdom of 40 soldiers in Pulwama, PM Modi was still shooting for a movie. He tweeted four pictures of PM Modi.
पुलवामा में 40 जवानों की शहादत की खबर के तीन घंटे बाद भी ‘प्राइम टाइम मिनिस्टर’ फिल्म शूटिंग करते रहे।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 22, 2019
On February 21, 2019, in a press conference, Randeep Surjewala, Congress leader while criticising Modi said that the terror attack happened at 3:10 PM, however, Modi continued to shoot till 6:40 pm. He criticised the PM saying, has anyone seen a PM in the world who was busy shooting for a film while country is mourning over the loss of lives of jawans?
The BJP accepted that the event is from that day, however, the party refuted the allegation that he was busy in shooting. The party insisted that Modi was continuing with his work as he was following “desh-chalna-chahiye (the-country-has-to-go-on)” policy, reported The Telegraph. The BJP on Twitter asked Rahul Gandhi to stop spreading fake news and said that the images that he shared were from the morning.
Rahul Ji, India is tired of your fake news. Stop sharing photos from that morning to shamelessly mislead the nation.
Maybe you knew in advance of the attack but people of India got to know in the evening.
Try a better stunt next time, where sacrifice of soldiers isn’t involved. https://t.co/qiAhUKrNdg
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 22, 2019
What actually happened on that day is yet ambiguous as various stories have surfaced about Modi’s whereabouts on that day. However, one news is certain that Modi did address a political rally two hours after the Pulwama attack and did not mention about it once, reported the Scroll.in.
BJP Hits Back
Surjewala said that Modi in the run for power has forgotten, “raj dharma” (duty of governance). BJP’s Amit Shah in a rally at Andhra Pradesh retaliated by saying that Congress is making an unnecessary issue of the event the PM was attending at that time. He further said that people of the country will not believe in lies that Congress is spreading. He also said that Modi is very serious about national security and has zero tolerance towards terrorism.
There are several loopholes in the claims made by both the sides. However, a tweet carrying a photo of Modi in a boat seems to bring some respite to the BJP. A BJP social media volunteer from Uttarakhand tweeted a picture of Modi on a boat at 1:52 PM, a little before the Pulwama attack, reported The Quint.
— Vishwaketu Vaidya (@VishwaketuVaid5) February 14, 2019
However, a picture of Modi in front of a camera seems to have been taken in the later part of the day. From the photo it is quite understandable that the light has faded either due to bad weather or because of the time of the day. This hints that the image was taken after the attack. Though, these images are not substantial enough, news reports based on a Press Trust Of India report and other media sources tend to provide a better picture of what Modi did on that specific day.
It states that at 7 AM of that day, Modi landed in Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport. Because of bad weather, his departure to Jim Corbett got delayed. At 11:15 AM, he reached Jim Corbett by helicopter. He spent four hours at the national park. At 3:15 PM, the Pulwama terror attack took place. At 4 PM, he left Jim Corbett. He was supposed to address a rally at Rudrapur but due to bad weather he failed to do so, however he addressed the rally through the help of telephone. At 6:46 PM in the evening, he finally tweeted about the tragic mishap.
Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs. May the injured recover quickly.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 14, 2019
The question still remains the same, why did Modi publicly acknowledge the attack after almost 3 hours through a tweet? Why didn’t he mention about it while addressing the rally. Another part of the story can be that this crucial information of the attack might have been withheld from him.
Various Stories of that day
What did Congress allege?
The Congress alleged that even after knowing about the Pulwama attack, Modi continued to shoot a documentary. He also took a boat ride and had snacks in Circuit house till 6:45 pm
What did a Uttarakhand official say?
The Telegraph reached out to a Uttarakhand official who said that Modi took the boat ride before the attack happened. He went on a brief jungle safari afterwards and also took a picture of black deer on his phone. He later reached Khinanauli Guest House where filming took place till 4:30 pm.
What do the government sources say?
According to some government sources, Modi cancelled Rudrapur rally appearance but spoke via phone. Later, PM spoke to the National Security Advisor, Home Minister and Jammu and Kashmir Governor about the incident. The sources further said that after getting to know about the incident, he did not eat anything.
What does the senior government functionary say?
A senior unnamed government functionary spoke to the Times of India and said that Modi cancelled his Rudrapur appearance because he was on review calls about the situation. He later addressed the rally via phone at 5.10 pm. Later on, he left for Bareilly road.
Did the news reach late?
Several TV stories and the Economic Times carried that the news about the Pulwama attack reached late to Modi and he was annoyed about it. He was angry on National Security Adviser Ajit Doval for not informing about the attack . Later on, he held a meeting with the relevant leaders over the phone.
From all the inputs that we have, there are two serious questions that need to be addressed soon.
1 Why did PM Modi not address about the Pulwama attack any sooner?
2 If he was informed late about the incident, then why was no action taken against the top bureaucrats?
Also Read: Pulwama Attack: The Suicide Bomber & The History Behind Terror Outfit Jaish-E-Mohammed