Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday accused Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and other BJP leaders, who win elections from Naxalism-affected areas, of striking a “deal” with the guerrillas.“I have said this before and am repeating, that Raman Singh and all those BJP leaders who have won from Naxalism-hit areas have struck a deal with Naxals and there is some exchange between them,” he said.Mr. Singh said Naxalism could not be wiped out till the State government took tribals and those living in these areas into confidence and spoke to them. “You cannot end Naxalism till the time you talk to all,” he said.The “inability” of the State government in fighting Naxalism lay in the “lack of will” of the Chief Minister, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. He took a swipe at BJP president Amit Shah over his party’s expansion plan.
Kashmir remained on the edge on Saturday as bodies of three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including commander Junaid Matto, were recovered from the Arwani encounter site in south Kashmir. Scores of armed militants participated in their funerals.The bodies of the militants were spotted in the debris in the morning. “Junaid’s killing is a great achievement for us and a blow to LeT,” said Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid.According to the police, Junaid was a district commander and involved in a number of terror activities, including three attacks on policemen.The bodies of two others, Nasir Wani and Adil Mushtaq Mir, both locals in their twenties, were found in the debris of two civilian residential houses, where they were holed up. They had joined the militancy last year, said the police.“Arms and ammunition, including AK rifles, magazines and grenades, have been recovered from the Arwani site,” said the police.Hundreds of locals attended the funerals of the slain LeT militants as they were buried in their respective hometowns in Pampore, Shopian and Kulgam.Scores of armed militants were spotted at these funerals. Eyewitnesses said these militants offered gun salutes to the slain militants and were seen hugging their bodies as people jostled to catch glimpse of them on their mobile phones. Anti-India slogans raisedPeople raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans during the funerals.Top LeT commander Saddam Padder and his associates were also seen at the funeral of the slain Nasir Wani at Shopian’s Heff area. He was seen loading his AK-47 and open fire in the air as mourners ducked to stay safe. He raised anti-India and pro-Islam slogans before vanishing into the crowd.“India must pay for its crimes on humanity,” said LeT chief Mahmood Shah.Meanwhile, there were emotional scenes as two civilians hit by bullets were buried in their respective villages. The civilians were killed when the security force opened fire to disperse the locals who were converging on the encounter site.The separatists’ shutdown and the authorities’ restrictions impacted daily life in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday. Large deployments were made in all sensitive locations in Srinagar and parts of south Kashmir. Traffic remained off the roads and train services in south Kashmir were suspended.