Babul Supriyo jumps gun, army fumes

Babul Supriyo

 Union minister Babul Supriyo on Sunday morning announced the death of a soldier in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir although the operation was still on, leaving the army fuming.

Sources in the army headquarters said the tweet by the junior environment minister was unwarranted and went against army protocol and that the matter had been raised with the top brass of the government.

 “After the intervention of his political bosses, the minister deleted his tweet,” an official said. “All ongoing operations are classified and disclosing any information about these is strictly prohibited,” he added. An army veteran said Supriyo, being a politician, had “no business” tweeting about an ongoing operation.

 “He has no business tweeting about an ongoing operation and should be reprimanded to ensure he shuts his mouth in matters involving the armed forces.” Supriyo, the BJP MP of Bengal’s Asansol, had tweeted at 9.45am.

 Forces trap 2 terrorists. Reportedly, 1 jawan has been martyred.” Contacted by this newspaper, Supriyo’s additional personal secretary Dhramendra said: “Please share about your story so that I can ask Sir.”

 This correspondent sent Dharmendra the details he had sought on WhatsApp, seeking the minister’s reaction, but did not receive a response. When contacted again at night, Dharmendra said Supriyo had been busy through the day. An army jawan died in an encounter with terrorists in a village in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

 A Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist was also killed in the operation, sources said. The encounter started when the security forces had launched a joint operation at Posta-Potra village in the Gundana area, about 26km from Doda town, acting on information about the presence of terrorists.

 An army jawan was critically injured in the initial firing by the terrorists and later died in hospital. In a statement at 6.45pm the army said: “In a counter-terrorist operation in Tasnal, Doda, at 3am on May 17, operations were launched as per intelligence of likely presence of terrorists in a house.

 At 7.30am contact was established during search of the house. One body of terrorist and war-like stores recovered. In the operation one Indian Army soldier has been killed and details will be released as per Indian Army protocols.”