Mamata Banerjee demands details of IAF air strike, questions number of causalities in operation

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 28 February 2019, 08:38 PM
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday demanded evidence of the pre-emptive strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps by the Indian Air Force (IAF). She also said that the opposition parties want to know the details of the operation. “We want to know details of the operation. Where the bomb was dropped, how many people died,” she said.

“I was reading foreign media and they said that none died and some media houses said one died. We want to know the details,” Mamata added. In an interaction with the media persons, Mamata Banerjee asked why Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t hold any all-party meet after the attack.

"Some media is reporting 300 people died, we want to know the actual truth. Where did they drop the bomb? Was it dropped at the right target? International media is reporting that no such thing happened, that the bomb missed its target and no one died! So what is the truth?" the Trinamool Congress chief asked.

Interestingly, a few days ago, Mamata Banerjee hailed the Indian Air Force (IAF) for carrying out air strikes in Pakistan. "IAF also means India's Amazing Fighters. Jai Hind," Banerjee tweeted.

India conducted a major preemptive strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp early Tuesday, killing a "very large number" of terrorists, trainers, and senior commanders, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

He said the "intelligence-led operation" on the Pakistan-based terror group's biggest training camp in Balakot became "absolutely necessary" as it was planning more suicide attacks in India. JeM claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy in which 40 soldiers were killed.

Sources told PTI that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has briefed President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu about Tuesday's strike.

 It was not clear if the strike was on Balakote in Pakistan occupied Kashmir or Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Gokhale also did not give details of how the attacks were carried out or confirm earlier reports by sources that Mirage aircraft were used to drop bombs in the operation.

 "Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country, and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose," Gokhale told the media.  

 In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became "absolutely necessary", the foreign secretary said.

First Published: Thursday, February 28, 2019 08:37 PM
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