Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the country will not tolerate Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah contradicting the armed forces on the number of terrorists killed during the air strike across the Line of Control last week.
On Sunday, Shah claimed that more than 250 terrorists were killed in the operation on February 26.
“Amit Shah is saying that 250 died and the armed forces have lied,” Kejriwal tweeted. “Amit Shah is calling the armed forces liars.”
Earlier on Monday, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa refused to state the number of casualties from the cross-border air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force on February 26. “We can’t count how many people died, it depends on how many people were there,” Dhanoa said.
Congress, NCP attack prime minister, Amit Shah
Congress spokesperson RPN Singh accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of politicising the air strikes, PTI reported. He accused the BJP and its leaders of spreading misinformation and “false propaganda”. “We demand that Modi apologise to the Air Force,” he said at a press conference.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala referred to Union minister SS Ahluwalia’s remarks, in which he refuted media reports which claimed over 300 casualties in the strike. Surjewala asked the prime minister to share the “truth” with the country.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar expressed surprise at Shah’s claim that over 250 terrorists had been killed. “Had the claim of casualty in the air strike come from any defence person, I would have taken it seriously,” he told reporters after meeting the family of Indian Air Force pilot Ninad Mandavgane, who died in a helicopter crash.
The strikes were carried out 12 days after the Pulwama suicide attack, in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed. Multiple media reports, quoting unidentified officials, had pegged the number of casualties of the February 26 operation at over 300, and some estimated it at even 600. The Indian Air Force, however, has refused to give any number officially, and said it would be premature to give an estimate.