Families of Jawans Killed in Pulwama Demand Proof of Balakot Strike

New Delhi: Raising questions on the casualties caused due to the bombing of a Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Pakistan’s Balakot by the Indian Air Force, families of two soldiers killed in the Pulwama terror attack have asked for proof of the operation.
According to a report by NDTV, Pradeep Kumar from Shamli and Ram Vakeel from Mainpuri were among the 40 jawans who died after a suicide bomber affiliated to the JeM rammed his explosive-laden car into a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy on February 14.
Amid the ongoing war of words between the government and the opposition, the families of the two soldiers have supported calls for a “decisive proof” of the air strike and have asked the government to show the bodies as evidence.
“In our case (Pulwama terror attack), we saw someone’s hands, someone’s limbs. We need to see the same from the other side. Someone took responsibility for the bomb attack almost immediately. I am sure the strikes have happened but where have they done it? There should be clear proof. Until there is proof, how can we accept it? Pakistan says there is no damage to them so how can we accept it unless there is proof,” Ram Raksha, the sister of Ram Vakeel told NDTV.
“Show us, only then we will get peace and know that my brother’s killing has been avenged.”
In Shamli, the mother of Pradeep Kumar also echoed the call for proof. “We are not satisfied. So many sons died in Pulwama attack but we saw no one dead in Balakot. There are no dead bodies on the other side. In fact, there was no confirmed news. We need to see this on TV. And we need to be told at our homes. We need to see the dead bodies of the terrorists,” said Sulelata, in her 80s.
The government has firmly refused to give out any such details despite international media casting doubts over the success of the strike.
There has been no official confirmation of the death toll but various ministers have quoted different figures. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has said its job is not to count bodies but to hit targets.
Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up and amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting what it said was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26 . The government had said the strike was a success and a “very large number” of terrorists were killed. But reports in the international media have been skeptical about the death count.