A day after an international news agency released images indicating that there was no damage to buildings targetted by the Indian Air Force in Balakot, the IAF has submitted radar and satellite images of the strike to the government. According to sources, the IAF images show ‘significant damages’ to the Jaish e Mohammed (JeM) Madrasa in Balakot. The foreign news agency had released ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of the buildings and quoted experts who, basis the images, pointed out that there were no damages to the structures, thus raising doubts over the IAF strikes.
According to news agency PTI, the government was, on Sunday, given the evidence of the February 26 attack on the JeM training facilities in Balakot. The proof submitted to the government by IAF also establishes that the S-2000 laser-guided munition hit the targets causing ‘significant internal damage’ to the structure.
The IAF has also handed over satellite imagery of the site and other supporting documents to the government. While many, including the opposition parties, have raised doubts over the Balakot strikes, the claims made by government representatives including ministers and BJP party leaders regarding the terrorist casualties have triggered a further political debate over the operation. Two days ago, addressing a press conference in Coimbatore, Air chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that the strikes were successful and that the IAF hit the target.
He had also said that counting the casualties was not the job of the IAF. On Wednesday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said that the IAF’s job was ‘remarkable’. “But, there are a few people who are questioning it… I want to ask them, was it the duty of our pilots to land and then count the numbers to know how many were killed after the operation – 1,2,3,4,5?” he said.