Even though the government or the Indian Air Force is yet to release an official figure of the number of casualties in the Balakot strike, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Sunday announced that “more than 250 terrorists” were killed.
The Indian Express quoted Shah as saying at an event in Ahmedabad, “After the Uri attack, the army did a surgical strike. After the Pulwama attack, people said there could not be a surgical strike due to the high level of alertness. But on the 13th day, the Narendra Modi government carried out an airstrike, and more than 250 terrorists were killed without suffering any losses.”
The IAF has not yet revealed the details of the operation and only said, “We have been successful in what we intended to destroy”. Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor had said it was “premature” to provide details about casualties.
Congress has launched an attack on Shah for his statement and accused him of milking the Balakot strike for political points. Party spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted:
Soon after the Balakot strike, reports quoted government sources as saying that about 300 terrorists were killed. However, there has been no official confirmation yet.
On Saturday, Union minister SS Ahluwalia had said that the aim of the strike in Balakot was to send out the message that India is capable of hitting deep inside enemy lines and did not intend to inflict “any human casualty”.
He also slammed media reports, saying neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor any government spokesperson had given any figure on casualty of the IAF air strikes. Rather, it was the media and social media where the unconfirmed figures of terrorist killed were being circulated, he said.
It seems now Amit Shah has become the first BJP leader to provide a figure for the Balakot strike.
(With PTI inputs)