New Delhi: "Don't communalise martyrs," was Northern Command chief General Devraj Anbu's crisp and on-point answer to politician Asaduddin Owaisi pointing out on Tuesday that five out of seven soldiers killed in the recent attacks in Kashmir were Muslims.
Anbu also said that those making communal statements over the death of soldiers obviously did not know the army very well.
Owaisi's comment was targetted at those 'questioning the loyalty of Indian Muslims'.
He said that their point was way off base and as an example he brought up the event of the recent deaths in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Those who call Indian Muslims Pakistani should learn something from this. We (Muslims) are sacrificing our lives (for the country)," said Owaisi.
Four of the six Army men, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Habibullah Qureshi, Manzoor Ahmed Deva and Mohammad Iqbal Sheikh, killed in the attack were identified as Kashmiris.
One civilian, Ghulam Mohiuddin Sheikh, the father of one of the slain Army men, was also among the total seven people killed.
Thousands of people defied threats and turned up to pay their respects on Tuesday to the deceased Kashmiri soldiers.
A huge crowd also gathered to pay last respect to Iqbal Sheikh and his father Mohiuddin Sheikh at Reshipora village of South Kashmir's Tral region.
“They never hurt anyone,” said one of the neighbours about the father-son duo.
Similar scenes were witnessed at Kewa village in Anantnag district and in North Kashmir's Lolab, where the bodies of Manzoor Ahmad Deva and Mohammed Ashraf Mir reached for the last rites respectively.
Separately in the east of the country, in Bihar, thousands also showed up to pay tribute to CRPF jawan Mujahid Khan in Arrah.
He lost his life in an encounter with terrorists in Karan Nagar in Srinagar on Tuesday....