Terrorists unnerved by high voter turnout in J&K: Parrikar

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said high voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections "unnerved" the terror handlers in Pakistan that led to the "cowardly" attacks in the Valley.

PTI| Updated: Dec 08, 2014, 00:23 AM IST

Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said high voter turnout in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections "unnerved" the terror handlers in Pakistan that led to the "cowardly" attacks in the Valley.

"The voting was up to 72 per cent, which signals that the democratic process is successful in Kashmir. This had unnerved the people, who are controlling terrorists sitting in Pakistan. That is why they resorted to such cowardly attacks," Parrikar told reporters at Old Goa near Panaji.

"When the voting percentage is 72, which is more than Jharkhand, it signals that people want to participate in the democratic process. The attacks are clear indications of their desperation," the minister said.

Without naming Pakistan, Parrikar said, "Unless there is tacit support from the other side, they (militants) would not have been able to move like this with heavy armaments."

Kashmir witnessed four terror attacks by militants from across the border on Friday, who stormed an Army camp in Uri leaving 11 security personnel including a Lt Colonel dead and killed two civilians in Tral.

The minister said he has been monitoring situation in Jammu and Kashmir on an hourly basis.

"The government has taken serious note of the incidents and the Indian armed forces are working on counter measures," he said.

"I am pained at the loss of our jawans, who fought braveheartedly and neutralised all the terrorists. None of the terrorist was allowed to escape. With their bravery (Jawans) they have ensured safety of the citizens," he said.

To a criticism that the minister was busy launching a book at a literature festival when the attacks took place, Parrikar said, "Some people say I should visit the border. If I go to the border, the security forces will be busy protecting me and their work would be hampered."

The Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag visited Kashmir thrice in the last fortnight, he said.