Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday again criticised those seeking evidence of the cross-border strikes carried out by the Indian Air Force early on February 26. Modi claimed that while Pakistan itself had admitted to the strikes, there were many in India who were questioning the veracity of the operation.

Modi referred to those seeking evidence as members of the “tukde tukde” gang, or those seeking to break up the country. “It was Pakistan who tweeted first and said that the Indian Army hit us by entering our home,” Modi said in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida. “But there are some delusional people in our country who started asking questions about where Balakot is and what exactly had happened there.”

In the initial hours after the attack, there was confusion about whether the strikes had taken place in Balakot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or the city in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

Opposition leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, had asked the Centre whether the air strikes were related to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. They had asked the government to share details about the strike.

Modi claimed several people had sought evidence even after the attack on the Uri base in 2016. “But after the Pulwama attack, our soldiers did something that has never been done before in decades,” he said. “Our soldiers struck the terrorists inside their home.”

Modi claimed that terrorists and their “guardians” had not expected such action. “They thought that if India once carried out a surgical strike, they will again do something similar,” he said. “So, they had deployed forces along the border, but we went via air this time.”

Modi slammed the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for its handling of terror incidents after the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. All the evidence was pointing towards the terrorists and their guardians sitting in Pakistan, he said.

“But what did India do, how did it respond to Pakistan? There is news that even then the air force had asked for a free hand,” Modi said. “But our security forces were not given a free hand, their hands and legs were tied and they were told to fight terrorism.”

Modi also said that the corrupt are now opposing and abusing him in order to get votes, PTI reported. “There is competition among them [the corrupt] to abuse this chowkidar [watchman], they think abusing me will get them votes,” he said. “They [Opposition] have turned so hopeless that in their stubbornness to oppose Modi, they have started opposing the nation also.”

Modi inaugurates Delhi Metro’s Blue Line extension

The prime minister in Greater Noida inaugurated the 6.6-km Noida City Centre-Noida Electronic City section, which is an extension of the Delhi Metro’s Blue Line in the neighbouring city. He also laid the foundation stone of a 1,320-MW thermal power plant in Khurja, Bulandshahr, and for a similar power plant in Buxar in Bihar via video link.

Earlier, he unveiled a statue of Deendayal Upadhyaya on the campus of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology in Greater Noida. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Union minister Mahesh Sharma were present at the event.

Modi on Friday had inaugurated the 9.63-km Dilshad Garden-New Bus Adda section, an extension of the Delhi Metro’s Red Line.