New Delhi: Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday mocked Rahul Gandhi for terming the ‘pre-emptive’ strike conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camps in Balakot, Pakistan an attack by India on the neighbouring country. Stating that it wasn’t an attack but an operation against terrorism, the Union Minister said ‘maybe the Congress president does not understand meaning of words’.

Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that ‘some of our men were also martyred during the strike’, the HRD minister said, “No one from our side was martyred, only terrorists got killed there.” (ALSO READ- IAF Was Ready to Avenge 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks But Previous UPA Govt Did Not Allow Them to Act, Says PM Modi)

“Rahul Gandhi had said IAF attacked Pakistan, when did we attack? It was only an operation against terrorism. Maybe he doesn’t understand meaning of words. He also said that in airstrike our people were martyred, no one from our side was martyred, only terrorists got killed there,” Javadekar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier on Friday, while addressing a rally in Odisha, Rahul Gandhi had said, “Kuch din pehle vayu sena ne Pakistan pe aakraman kiya, bomb giraye, hamare log bhi shaheed hue, 70 saal se HAL vayu sena ke liye hawai jahaz bana rahe hain…PM desh bhakti ki baat karte hain lekin vayu sena se paisa lekar apne mitr Anil Ambani ko dete hain.”

Notably, top Opposition leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and several others have now and then 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 we should also give proof, the way the United States government presented evidence of Osama bin Laden’s killing before the world,” senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had said while speaking to reporters in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore a few days back.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also made a similar demand. She had asked the government to provide the exact details of the pre-emptive strikes.

India carried out air strikes on Jaish camps in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 to avenge the dastardly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed as an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a bus in their convoy on February 14.