Protests calling for a full-blown military offensive against Pakistan erupted across India on Friday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that terror groups would pay “a heavy price” after suspected militants killed at least 46 Indian troops in one of the deadliest attacks in volatile Kashmir.
On Thursday, a suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant rammed a bomb-laden vehicle into a 78-vehicle convoy ferrying more than 2,500 paramilitary personnel on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
The Pakistan-based JeM claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to local media, which said the vehicle was driven by a 22-year-old militant.
“I want to tell the terrorist groups and their masters that they have committed a big mistake,” Modi said after an emergency cabinet meeting. “They have to pay a heavy price.”
Demonstrators took to the streets of several Indian cities, shouting anti-Pakistan slogans and burning Pakistan’s national flag while calling on India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to retaliate for Thursday’s bombing.
“How long will we silently tolerate martyrdom? We want our government to attack Pakistan with all its military might,” Gopal Pandey, a protester from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi town, told BenarNews in a phone interview.
In Jammu, anti-Pakistan protesters turned violent and set ablaze a dozen vehicles, prompting authorities to fire teargas to disperse the crowd, deputy city commissioner Ramesh Kumar told BenarNews. “A curfew has been imposed throughout the city,” he said.
An all-out military offensive against Pakistan, which denied any involvement in the attack, was “neither desirable nor the answer,” analysts said.
Full story: BenarNews
Rohit Wadhwaney and Mohammad Amin Pirzada
New Delhi and Srinagar, India
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