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Rijiju shares video of former IAF officer calling air strike a ‘thumping success’, slams Digvijaya

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Amid a controversy over Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s comments on surgical strikes, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday shared a video of retired Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar stating that the Balakot air strike was a “thumping success”.

Sharing the video clip on Twitter, Rijiju said, “This is the reply to Congress party and all those who question the Indian Armed Forces.”

In the video, Nambiar, who retired as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command of the Indian Air Force in 2019, said the pilots who carried out the air strike at Balakot achieved “all objectives” that had been set.

“This gentleman does not know what he is talking about… I took over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Air Command two days after the Balakot air strike, and I am fully aware of what transpired,” the retired Air Marshal said, referring to Singh.

“Let me assure you our brave pilots did exactly as they were briefed and achieved all objectives we had set for them. Please do not believe any lie, and rest assured Balakot air strike was a thumping success,” he said.

The Balakot air strike was carried out in response to the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

India had announced on September 29, 2016 that it had carried out a “surgical strike” against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and inflicted “significant casualties”. The attack was in response to the attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a public meeting during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, Singh questioned the surgical strikes and accused the government of peddling lies.

“They talk of surgical strikes. They claim to have killed so many people but no proof is given. They are ruling by peddling a bundle of lies,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, who has often courted controversy with his comments, said.

The Congress has distanced itself from Singh’s remarks, saying they were his own and do not reflect the position of the party.

Snubbing Singh for questioning surgical strikes, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday termed his comments “ridiculous” and said the armed forces are doing their job “exceptionally well” and do not need to give any proof.

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