Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President Amit Shah on March 3 claimed that more than 250 terrorists were killed in the air strike conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on February 26, ANI has reported.
The air strike, described by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as a pre-emptive non-military action against Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)’s camps in Balakot, was conducted on February 26.
The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Kashmir, killing at least 40 soldiers.
"In five years, two major incidents happened...in Uri and Pulwama. After Uri attack, our army entered Pakistan, undertook a surgical strike and took revenge for our soldiers' death," Shah said.
"After Pulwama attack, everyone thought surgical strike can't be done this time… now what will happen?... At that time Prime Minister Narendra Modi led central government undertook an air strike on the 13th day and killed more than 250 terrorists without any harm to our side," Shah added.
Following the air strike, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said in a statement that “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated.”
“This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, Chief of JeM,” the statement added.
The Indian authorities have so far not put out the number of terrorists eliminated.
Opposition parties and leaders have been mounting pressure on the government, seeking more details about the matter.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on February 28 said that lives of jawans are much more valuable than electoral politics, but the nation has a right to know what actually happened at Balakot following the IAF's air strike there.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed JeM's biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations on February 27. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.