Jammu, July 30 : Asserting that he never called Burhan Wani's death in the encounter with security forces as an 'accident', Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Saturday stated that if the security personnel had known about the Hizbul Mujahideen commander's presence, then better precautionary measures would have been taken.
"I was asked a question by a correspondent if the state government had failed after Burhan Wani's killing, and I was only explaining that because it was a routine anti-terrorist operation, had security forces known, they would have taken better precautions" Singh told ANI here.
"So far as Burhan Wani killing is concerned, he was a terrorist, he had killed innocent people. Terrorists behaving like this will be dealt in this way only," he added. However, earlier in the day, Nirmal Singh had stated that the entire Burhan Wani episode was an 'accident within another accident' His comments came in the wake of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti stating that security forces were unaware about Wani's identity during the encounter in which he was neutralised.
When asked about Wani's killing and the recent remarks made by certain leaders about it, Singh said the security forces had no prior information and the identification of bodies was done after the terrorists were killed.
"There was a routine anti-terrorism operation. Four Pakistani terrorists were killed, at that time there was no information. The identification was done after that," he told media persons here. "If there was any prior information then we could have taken some precautions. We did know about the terrorists....This was an accident. We did not know beforehand. Terrorists have to be dealt with guns," he added. Meanwhile, National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah hit out at Nirmal Singh on Twitter saying that, "The #BJPDP Deputy CM calls the Burhan Wani encounter (and) death "an accident" 50 people have died (and) countless injured after this "accident"." Omar had earlier rubbished Mufti's claim that she was not aware of the encounter between the security forces and Burhan Wani, which resulted in the latter's death.
At least 47 people have died and around 5,500 people, including 3,000 security personnel, have also been injured in the violence that rocked the Valley since July 8, when Wani was killed in an encounter.