Rahul blames BJP for JeM chief Azhar’s release

Haveri: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday blamed the BJP for setting free Masood Azhar, chief of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, in 1999.

“My questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi are: Who killed the CRPF soldiers? Who is the chief of JeM — it is Masood Azhar. It was BJP that escorted him back from an Indian jail,” Gandhi said at a rally at Municipal Grounds in this Karnataka town, about 350km from state capital Bengaluru.

The JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, killing 40 troopers.

Gandhi said the then Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had escorted the terrorist to Kandahar in Afghanistan from an Indian jail.

“Congress won’t bow to terror,” he said.

JeM head Azhar and two other militants Mushtaq Ahmed and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh were freed in exchange for hijacked Indian Airlines passengers by then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh in 1999.