Mamata Banerjee demanded evidence from the Modi government about Indian Air Force's air strike in Balakot of Pakistan. She said that people have right to know the exact details of destruction caused in the operation.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has demanded proof of the February 26 air strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Pakistan’s Balakot, around 80 km from the Line of Control. Banerjee said that people have right to know the exact details of destruction caused in the operation as well as the number of casualties inflicted on the enemy in the strike.
Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat on Thursday, Mamata said, “We have the right to know how many people died in the air strike and who were they? We want to know the actual incident as we have not received any details…”
“We love the nation. But we do not like to see people play politics over bodies of our jawans,” she added.
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Accusing the BJP of playing politics over the sacrifice of soldiers, the CM also questioned the timing of anti-terror operations carried out by the Indian defence forces and sought to link it with the upcoming general elections. She claimed that no action was taken by the government after Pathankot and Uri terror attacks.
“Nothing happened in the past five years. There have been terror attacks in Uri and Pathankot but no action was taken. The government had received an advisory regarding the (Pulwama) attacks, but no preventive action was taken and their (jawans) lives were endangered,” Banerjee said.
In a tweet later, Banerjee said tht she is waiting anxiouslt for the safe return of IAF Wing Ccmmander Abhinandan.
“Along with his family members and all our countrymen, we are anxiously waiting for the safe return of our pilot Abhinandhan,” she said in a tweet.
On Thursday evening, at the first Tri-Service press conference, Air Vice Marshall RGK Kapoor said that the air strike was succesfull and desired result was achieved. When asked about the proof, he said that it is up to the government to release evidence.
Meanwhile, BJP has lashed out at Banerjee for raising questions over the air strike.
“Banerjee is disrespecting the position of her chair by making such comments. She is indirectly encouraging terrorist activities in Pakistan by doubting the air strike conducted by the Indian Air Force. This is unfortunate that the chief minister of a state made such a statement,” BJP’s national general secretary Rahul Sinha said.
Banerjee is not the first to question the operations carried out by the armed forces. The past years have seen a number of opposition parties seek details of operations carried out by the security forces. In 2016, when the Indian Army carried out surgical strike in PoK destroying several terror launchpads, Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal were among several others who had demanded proof from the government to blunt Pakistan’s counter claims.