AAP MLA HS Phoolka came under attack from journalists and social media users on Sunday after he reportedly accused the Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat of orchestrating the deadly blasts at Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar that killed at least three people.
Speaking to reporters, Phoolka said that the ‘army chief came and made a statement’ adding that ‘to prove his statement, he could have orchestrated the attack.’ He added, “This matter should be looked into. Did govt do it? Did the earlier government do it now? It is wrong to repeatedly say that Punjab’s atmosphere is not good. We must get to the root of it.”
AAP MLA HS. Phoolks ਦਾ ਆਰਮੀ ਚੀਫ 'ਤੇ ਵਿਵਾਦਿਤ ਬਿਆਨ !#Chandigarh #HsPhoolka Aam Aadmi Party – Punjab #Amritsar #BombBlast #ArmyChief
Posted by JagBani on Sunday, 18 November 2018
On 3 November, Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat had accused foreign forces of reviving militancy in Punjab. He had said, “See we have a neighbouring country which always tries to vitiate atmosphere here. Our country is progressing which is not liked by them.”
Phoolka was asked to comment on General Rawat’s statement. To which, he reportedly said that the Indian army chief may have orchestrated the Sunday’s attack to prove his apprehensions right.
Reacting to the news, psephologist Yashwant Deshmukh said that Phoolka’s statement was shameful. He wrote, “I don’t believe this. Never expected any sitting MLA in Punjab Assembly would say this sort of stuff. Certainly not someone as respected as
@hsphoolka. Absolutely shameful. His stature just went down the hill among most of his reasonable supporters.”
Satirist Akash Banerjee asked, “Phoolka Ji kya phook rahe hain? (What are you smoking Mr Phoolka?)”
At least three people were killed and 10 injured in the blast at Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar’s Rajasansi village on Sunday. Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had announced Rs. 5 lakh for the victims and free treatment for the injured.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too had condemned the attack calling it a cowardly act. He had tweeted, “A cowardly act. We strongly condemn it.”
Phoolka had resigned from the Punjab assembly as an MLA last month over the sacrilege issue.
Faced with outrage on social media, he tweeted asking people to watch the full video of his comments. He wrote, “Please see whole video. An inadvertent statement made standing on road is being blown out of proportion.I have stated that history is evidence of that fact that governments in the past have caused violence to further their interest.”
He said he regretted ‘statement that may have purported to be against the Army Chief.’