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Celebrities React: Prakash Raj, Siddharth, Khushboo Condemn Politicisation Of The IAF Airstrikes As Others Celebrate

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Days after the Pulwama attack, India and Pakistan retaliated with air strikes in what can be seen as the worst escalation between the two countries in decades. The extent of damage at Balkot in Pakistan where the Indian Air Force dropped bombs on Tuesday, is unknown. An Indian commander pilot has been detained by Pakistan following their air strike yesterday.

The Indian government bombed a hilltop in Balkot, believed to be the biggest training base of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group who killed 40 CRPF troops in Pulwama recently. The government said these were ‘non-military pre-emptive’ strikes that avoided civilian causalities, and killed a large number of JeM terrorists.

The Pakistan government first denied the attack, and then said India committed an act of aggression to which they will respond with a ‘surprise’. Pakistan’s military jets entered Kashmir’s Rajouri district yesterday. Two aircrafts were shot and commander Abhinandan was taken captive. The Pakistan army released a video of the pilot saying he is safe and taken care of.

Details about the number of people who died in the Balkot air strikes are yet to be known. Some reports claim that around 350 people lived in the area, and some others say that JeM camps in the region were JeM run madrasas. The Pakistan government has not commented on the presence of the JeM group in Balkot.

Civilians around LoC have reportedly been injured due to cross-border shooting. This morning, Prime Minister Modi released a statement saying India will ‘fight, live and win as one’. “I want to assure the people of India that the country is in safe hands. I will save the honour of the country.”

The Pakistan government has offered to co-operate with Pulwama investigation. Pakistan PM Imran Khan said, “India and Pakistan should sit down and talk. Better sense should prevail.”

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Indian politicians in power, opposition parties, state governments, celebrities and the many people who condemned Pulwama attacks, supported Prime Minister Modi’s call to give a free hand to Indian security forces to “punish the perpetrators of the crime.”

These attacks and retaliations have come days before this year’s Lok Sabha elections. Karnataka’s BJP chief Yeddyurappa says the strikes will secure BJP more seats.

Meanwhile, the All India Cine Workers Association has asked the government to ban Pakistani artists in Bollywood. Pakistan’s Film Exhibitors Association has been ordered to boycott Indian films and advertisements.

Many people from India and abroad said that the strikes by IAF were the right ‘revenge for Pulwama’,  and this was a proud moment for India to be able to prove strength. In the south, Kamal Haasan, MK Stalin, VijayakantH, Mammootty, Mohanlal and others supported the Indian army. Siddharth, Khushboo, Prakash Raj said that this was not a time to ‘politicise’ the issue.

Lyricist Vairamuthu wrote in praise of the Indian Air Force.

Actress-politician Khushboo Sundar changed her Twitter handle to “A proud Indian despite being a Muslim.” She also accused Modi of taking credit for the strikes and calling it his own success.

Actor politician Prakash Raj accused the BJP of politicising war.

Cinematographer KV Anand retweeted a post that said, “If war doesn’t scare you, you’re probably profiting from it.”

Actor Vishnu Vishal, composer Vishal Dadlani tweeted #SayNoToWar.

Actor-politician Sarath Kumar, director Karthik Subbaraj, actors Vishal, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Samantha Akkineni, Rakul Preet Singh, RJ Balaji, Aishwarya Rajesh, Vikram Prabhu are also among those who reacted.

Image courtesy: Indian Express

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