New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday escalated attack on Opposition and claimed that the previous Congress-led UPA government had done injustice to the armed forces by failing to act against terrorism after the ghastly 2008 Mumbai attacks. Addressing a public gathering in Hindon, Ghaziabad, days before the Election Commission (EC) is scheduled to announce the dates for forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections, the Prime Minister claimed that there are reports that Indian Air Force (IAF) had asked the then Manmohan Singh-led UPA government to give them a free hand  to avenge the carnage (Mumbai attacks) but they were not allowed to do so.

He added,”After 2016’s Uri attack, we (India) gave a befitting reply to Pakistan. But the Congress leadership was sleeping after 2008 Mumbai attacks. Do you want governments to keep sleeping? Chowkidaar should not sleep.”

“Links of attacks and blasts earlier also were connected to Pakistan, but what did the earlier Govt do? They just changed the Home Minister. Now you tell me, in such situations should the home minister be changed or the policy?, PM Modi asked. In one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in the country’s history, 166 people were killed and over 300 injured as 10 heavily-armed terrorists from Pakistan created mayhem in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also lambasted the Opposition leaders for raising questions on the veracity of recent IAF air strike in Balakot that reportedly decimated biggest hideouts of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. “Jiski ragon mein Hindustan ka khoon hai, usko shaq hona chahiye kya?… Jo Bharat Maa ki jai bolta hai, usko shaq hona chahiye kya? Ye shaq karne wale log kaun hain? Aise logon ki baaton pe bharosa karoge kya?,” PM asked the gathering.

Notably, top Opposition leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and many others asked the Centre to provide an evidence of the IAF strike on JeM terror camps. “I am not questioning the recent IAF action against Pakistan-based terrorist camps. But pictures of any incident in open space can be accessed through satellite technology. So we should also give evidence, the way the United States government presented evidence of Osama bin Laden’s killing before the world,” Singh said while speaking to reporters in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also made a similar demand. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief had asked the government to provide the exact details of the pre-emptive strikes. “We want to know what really happened. National TV channels were showing that 300 to 350 people were killed, but international media is reporting that no such thing happened, that the bomb missed its target and no one died! So what is the truth? Where did they drop the bomb? Was it dropped at the right target?” She had reportedly said.

On February 26, India carried out the ‘non-military pre-emptive air strike’ to avenge the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. The IAF strike was retaliated by Pakistan with an attempt to target military installations in Nowshera and Poonch sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.