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Mamata demands details on IAF air strike


IANS Kolkata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Thursday claimed conflicting reports have surfaced in the international media about the Indian Air Force (IAF) air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) training camp in Balakot across the Line of Control, and urged the central government to clear the air regarding the details of the strike.
The air strike was conducted in the wee hours of Tuesday.
Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "not holding a single meeting" with the opposition parties since the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, Banerjee claimed the armed forces should be permitted to divulge details of the air strike.
"We want to know exactly where the bombs were dropped and whether the targets were hit. I have read some news reports in New York Times and Reuters where it has been said the bombs dropped by the IAF missed target and no casualties were reported, while some reports claimed one person was killed," Banerjee said.
"On the other hand, some television channels reported that close to 300 operatives were killed in the air strike. We want to know how many people have been killed? Has anyone been killed at all or not," she asked.
Claiming that the people have "every right to know the truth," the Trinamool Congress supremo said she would support going to war for the sake of national security, but not for the sake of politics or winning elections.
"We are with the Indian armed forces. But we want them to be given a chance to reveal truth. People of the country have every right to know truth," she said.
"We do not want war for the sake of politics. If war is needed for the sake of the nation, we are with it. But we do not want war for the sake of winning elections. We want peace," Banerjee said.
Referring to previous incidents of terror attack on the Indian Army in Uri and Pathankot during the Narendra Modi regime, she alleged the government pushed the army personnel in the face of death in spite of having "advisory" about those attacks.
"We all love our country. But we do not love doing politics with the blood of our soldiers. Their lives are precious because they fight to secure the borders while some of us do politics to gain electoral benefits. I condemn such actions," she said.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 10:12 PM IST

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