The Shiv Sena on Tuesday pitched for a surgical strike without tom tomming about it to avenge the killing of five security personnel in an encounter with terrorists in Kashmirs Handwara area two days ago.
It is not a good sign that the brave men were killed in one go on India's own land, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said, adding that this happened when a strong and quite patriotic government is in power at the Centre.
The country has forgotten 'Kashmir war' due to the war situation triggered by COVID-19, but Pakistan has not, the former National Democratic Alliance constituent said.
Noting that the armed forces recently saluted the efforts of frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19 by conducting fly-pasts and showering flower petals on hospitals, the Shiv Sena said the fight against coronavirus and the appreciation of policemen, doctors and nurses will continue, 'but Kashmir cannot be ignored'.
'Let there be a surgical strike without tom-toming about it to avenge the martyrdom of the five jawans. It is not a good sign that five of our jawans are killed in one go,' the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
India had carried out retaliatory surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the Line of Control, with the Army targeting terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after the Uri terror attack in September 2016.
Opposition parties like the Congress had later accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using the surgical strike for political gains.
'Our jawans are getting killed on our own land. It is happening at a time when a strong and quite patriotic government is in place in Delhi (Centre),' the Shiv Sena said.
The attacks by terrorists have gone up along the Kashmir border while India is battling coronavirus crisis, it said, and alleged 'India has forgotten the Kashmir war due to the situation triggered by COVID-19, but Pakistan has not'.
Without naming any party or government, the Sena said somebody should also shower petals on the kin of the five security personnel killed in the Handwara encounter.
It said the security personnel who made supreme sacrifices for the country included a Muslim, and asked those who are into Hindu-Muslim politics not to forget this.
An Army Colonel and a Major were among five security personnel killed in an encounter with terrorists at a village in north Kashmir's Handwara area two days back.
The deceased included Colonel Ashutosh Sharma -- Commanding Officer of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh and Lance Naik Dinesh and J-K Police sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi.
The Sena said Colonel Sharma's daughter marked her birthday on May 1 and he died protecting the country on May 3.
Observing that the incident happened around the same time when the armed forces saluted the efforts of policemen, doctors and nurses fighting the COVID-19, it said, 'Somebody should shower petals on the relatives of these martyrs also. Play bands, light up lamps, candles to salute them too.'
There was lockdown in Kashmir ever since Article 370 was scrapped (last year) and the infiltrators carried out attacks during lockdown, the Marathi daily said.
It has to be admitted that the Article could be scrapped because of the strong intentions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. But, the killings of Indian soldiers still continued there, the Shiv Sena said.
What is the use of only paying tributes to soldiers who achieve martyrdom in Kashmir? it asked.
The bodies of the five personnel were kept wrapped in the tricolour at the Handwara military camp and the picture of it gave pain to people of the country, the Shiv Sena said.
'The picture stifles the slogan of Jai Hind in the throat itself. The land of Kashmir is soaked with the blood of Colonel Sharma and other brave soldiers at a time when the Indian Army showered flowers on COVID-19 warriors. This is not a good picture, is what we can say,' it added.