In a reply to an RTI application, the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) has revealed that no surgical strikes happened before September 29, 2016.
It should be noted that the Congress had claimed that three surgical strikes were carried out under the UPA government after the current government announced a surgical strike.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had also mentioned the dates: September 1, 2011, July 28, 2013 and January 14, 2014.
“We are proud that even in the past our forces have successfully conducted such surgical strikes on numerous occasions, particularly on , giving a befitting reply to the enemy,” said Surjewala in October 2016.
In reply to the RTI filed by PTI, the DGMO replied that it has no records of any surgical strike being conducted before September 2016. The reply reads:
“This section does not maintain records of any other surgical strikes, if any conducted earlier.”
The RTI had also sought a definition of “surgical strikes”. The DGMO replied:
“As per the information available in ‘open source’ the definition of ‘surgical strike’ is…an operation which is planned based on specific intelligence, on a legitimate military target for maximum effect and with minimum or no collateral damage. It involves deliberate insertion to target area, precise execution and swift extrication of the body of troops back to the base.”
The RTI also asked if any surgical strike was carried out between 2004 and 2014. The RTI was first sent to the Defence Ministry which sent it to the Army Headquarters for consideration and appropriate reply. The DGMO replied to the questions that were forwarded by Integrated Headquarters of the Army at New Delhi.
Answering as to how the strike was conducted and planned, the DGMO replied:
Based on receiving specific and credible inputs that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists .
The army carried out heavy surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28-29 2016 and successfully eliminated several LeT camps across the border.