New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other party leaders on Monday condemned the terror attack in Dinanagar town of Punjab, saying it occurred due to “intelligence failure” and expressing concern over the rise in “separatist terror”.
The opposition party said the attack had happened due to “intelligence failure” and came down heavily on neighbouring Pakistan.
“The Congress resolutely stood against such forces and combated them,” Sonia Gandhi said while condoling the deaths of security personnel and others in the attack in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi too condemned the attack. “Strongly condemn the terror attack in Gurdaspur. I hope the situation is brought under control at the earliest,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
“My prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack,” he said.
Flaying Pakistan and “its terror-manufacturing apparatus”, the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said the Indian security forces were fully equipped to counter the “evil designs” of the Pakistani establishment.
“The Indian security forces have been ably fighting Pakistan-sponsored terror for more than 30 years and are fully motivated to counter the evil designs of the Pakistani establishment,” he added.
Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini said three terrorists were killed in the counter-offensive launched by the state police. Seven people, including a senior police officer, three home guards personnel and three civilians were killed in the attack.
In a statement, Azad condoled the deaths of Punjab Police personnel and civilians in the terror attack.
India braved numerous attempts to destabilise it and violate its territorial integrity but showed “enough resilience to counter such cowardly attempts from across the border,” the former union minister said.
Azad said India will resist all moves to violate its borders, threaten its territorial integrity or jeopardise the security of the citizens.
Congress deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, said the terror attack in Punjab was a result of “intelligence failure”.
“The terror attack is not only a security lapse on the border but also a failure of intelligence agencies,” Sharma told the media here.
Sharma said the government should reveal what assurances Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their meeting in Ufa in Russia in June.
“On what assurance and understanding did the prime minister issue a joint statement after their meeting in Russia,” he asked.
Former Punjab chief minister and Congress parliamentarian from Amritsar, Capt Amarinder Singh, said the terror attack was a matter of grave concern as it was first such incident in a long time.
Offering his support to the Punjab government for maintaining peace, Amarinder Singh said there was no doubt about the perpetrators of this attack and the people supporting them.
The former chief minister said the pattern of the attack was similar to the earlier ones when terrorists infiltrated from across the border and attacked police stations in Samba and Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress leader said Punjab needed to be alert and vigilant. “We have seen the darkest decade not long ago and lost thousands of precious lives and we cannot afford it again,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Youth Congress activists marched from Safdarjung Road to the Prime Minister’s residence at 7 Race Course Road here to protest against the terror attack and burned the effigies of Narendra Modi.