Confusion prevails over the number of terrorist casualties in the ‘surgical strike’ by Indian troops when they crossed the line of control (LoC), the unofficial border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, to attack terrorists waiting to enter India.
The Indian Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh who briefed the media yesterday did not give out a figure of casualties among terrorists. “Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads on the LoC, significant casualties have been caused,” he said. However, various sections of the India media have put the number of casualties among terrorists at 35-40 killed quoting unnamed defence sources.
The Pakistani Inter-services public relations on its part has not mentioned a single death among members of various anti-Indian organizations whose members the Indian forces set out to target. Instead, it mentioned two deaths among its soldiers in ‘cross-border firing.’ The Pakistani media has largely toed the official line with hardly any mention of civilian casualties.
An Indian TV and online media outlet, Zee reported the number of terrorist dead bodies as ‘per different estimates’ varied from a minimum of 30 to as high as 70 as being buried in areas near to the scene of operation. The news daily reported that most of the terrorists are believed to have belonged to terrorist organizations such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.
Significantly there has been no news of any mass funerals or even deaths in online chatter and websites run by anti-India organizations in Pakistan.