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Friday, August 12, 2022

More internal sabotage? Explosion in ‘civil-hired’ vehicle takes life of soldier Praveen Singh

Army Jawan Praveen Singh made the supreme sacrifice due to an explosion that took place in the vehicle he was travelling in on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district. Two other jawans were also injured in the attack.

Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation (CSO) in Patitohalan area. While moving towards the target area, the explosion took place in a vehicle injuring the three jawans. Naik Praveen Singh was grievously injured in the explosion and was transferred to the Command Hospital in Udhampur where he later succumbed to his injuries. The treatment of the remaining two soldiers is still underway.

Praveen has a six-year-old son. He is a resident of Banjarawala, Dehradun. His father is also a former soldier.

What arouses suspicion of an inside hand in the attack is the fact that the vehicle was civil-hired. This also raises questions on why soldiers are traveling in non-military vehicles for counter-terror ops – is there a shortage, or is it due to poor maintenance of existing military vehicles?

Replying to national security analyst Divya Soti’s perceptive observation on this latest cowardly attack on our Army, Dr. Sanjay Koul, a Kashmiri Pandit living in exile in Delhi rightly commented that Pakistan’s proxy war successfully continues to bleed us and keep Kashmir destabilized.

Instead of perpetually trying to revive ‘peace talks’ with our rogue neighbor, we should be looking to permanently neutralize the military-mullah nexus that indoctrinates Pakistanis with hate for Hindus and Bharat, and sells dreams like Ghazwa-e-Hind. The Pakistani establishment’s war with Bharat is not limited to Kashmir. Their jihad’s ultimate goal is the re-establishment of Muslim rule in the subcontinent, and in the meantime to keep Bharat destabilized with terror, drugs, crime and all sorts of separatist movements.

Earlier on May 27, at least seven Army soldiers lost their lives in a vehicle ‘accident’ in the Turtuk sector of Ladakh, and 19 others suffered serious injuries. That vehicle (a bus) too was hired under the Civilian Hired Transport provision. The group of 26 soldiers was moving from the Transit Camp in Partapur to a forward location in Sub Sector Hanif. The driver, local civilian Ahmed Shah, allegedly lost control of the bus and it rolled down into a deep gorge. But Shah found time enough to jump out seconds before the bus fell into the gorge.

An FIR has been filed by the police under Sections 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing hurt or endangering life of others by doing any act rashly or negligently), and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code. Was it just negligence or something more sinister? As per reports, Ahmed Shah’s role will also be scrutinized during the Army’s Court of Inquiry (CoI) investigation.

Political expediency may ensure we never learn the truth, but one hopes that security forces review the practice of hiring and vetting civilian vehicles and drivers in Kashmir, where Islamic radicalization among the majority Muslim population has taken deep roots, with a fine-toothed comb.

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