Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Balakot strike: Many in India question ‘300-350’ casualty figure

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Indian government’s claims of ‘killing’ 300-350 ‘terrorists’ in an attack at Balakot in Pakistan has drawn criticism and questions from even Indians who are now doubting the veracity of entire episode.

 

Journalist and author Rajdeep Sardesai in India has raised several scathing questions from the Modi government. Taking to Twitter on Monday, Sardesai questioned the entity who ordered the figure of ‘300-350’ casualties in the so-called surgical strike to be released to the media.

“Who put out the figure of 300-350 killed in aerial strikes? Was it Govt, the IT cell of a party, or media speculation? Yes, we want to take ‘revenge’ for Pulwama, but why reduce anti terror op to a cricket scoreboard? Chest thumping has reduced our credibility in global fora.”

Similarly, Navjot Singh Siddhu, former cricketer-turned-comedian, who is known for his anti-jingoist stance in India, also criticised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

Read More: Indian air chief ‘uncertain’ about ‘300 casualties’

He tweeted: “300 terrorist dead, Yes or No? What was the purpose then? Were you uprooting terrorist or trees? Was it an election gimmick?”

Similarly, Congress leader and India’s former finance minister P. Chidambaram raised questions over the entire saga, saying when the air force had declined to comment on casualties, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said there were no casualties, then who gave the figure of 300-350 people being killed?

It is worthwhile to note that the Indian Air Force chief Birender Singh Dhanoa earlier on Monday had said that the Indian Air Force couldn’t ‘count the casualties’ and had refused to endorse the 300 killings figure.

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