In the situation of political turmoil over the Balakot air strike death count row, on Wednesday, Union Minister VK Singh took a jibe at the oppositions in a tweet on er… mosquitoes. The reference in Mr. Singh’s tweet to the pre-dawn IAF strike on February 26 in Pakistan’s Balakot targeted JeM’s biggest terrorist training camps was not lost on anyone.
The former Army Chief VK Singh posted in Hindi, “Last night at 3.30 am there were too many mosquitoes, so I used HIT (repellant). Now should I start counting how many mosquitoes I killed or should I go back to sleep?”
The opposition has been repeatedly asking the central government to officially declare the death count in Balakot air strike, amid international media sources- many quoted Pakistani locals- asked the impact of IAF operation.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has denied to confirm a casualty figure and said, “The foreign secretary gave the statement; that is the figure,” referring to the rundown by Vijay Gokhale the day the Indian Air Forces’ air strikes took place.
The Foreign Secretary had not mentioned any death count either, he claims that a “very large number” of JeM terrorists, senior commanders, trainers, and outfits of jihadis being trained for suicide bomber attacks in India were totally eliminated.
However, Home Minister Rajnath Singh came closest to validate the unofficial figure of “300” mentioned on the day of the air strike. Attacking the opposition Congress, Mr. Singh said that the oppositions are not willing to accept an assessment by the National Technical Research Organisation, which claims some 300 mobile phones were active at the JeM camps before the Air Force’s Mirage 2000 fighter jets bombed and destroyed it.
While the government has not mentioned any exact figure, BJP Chief Amit Shah said at a political rally that more than 250 terrorists were shot dead, provoking opposition digs. However, VK Singh claims that it was not a confirmed but an estimated figure.