Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said he felt “insulted” by a June 4, 2015 ambush on an Indian Army convoy by the north-eastern militant group NSCN-K. and that the PoK surgical strike was planned following that attack. Speaking before a gathering of industrialists in Panaji, the Goa Chief Minister said, “The surgical strikes against militants in PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) was planned 15 months in advance.”
On June 4, 2015, north-eastern militant group NSCN-K ambushed an Indian Army convoy in Chandel district of Manipur and killed 18 jawans. Parrikar said when he was informed about the incident, “I felt insulted….A small terrorist organisation of 200 people killing 18 Dogra soldiers was an insult to the Indian Army and we sat in the afternoon and sat in the evening and worked out the (plan of) first surgical strike which was conducted on 8th June morning in which about 70-80 terrorists were killed (along the India-Myanmar border).”
“It was a very successful strike,” he said, adding that on Army’s side, the only instance of an injury was a leech attaching itself to a soldier’s leg. Contrary to some reports, no helicopters were used. “I had placed helicopters (on stand by) only in case of emergency evacuation,” he said.
“The starting of September 29 (2016) surgical strike on the western border was 9th of June, 2015….We planned 15 months in advance. Additional troops were trained. Equipment was procured on priority basis,” he said. The Swathi Weapon Locating Radar, developed by the DRDO, was used first in September 2016 to locate “firing units” of Pakistani Army, though the system was inducted officially three months later, Parrikar said. Thanks to this Radar, forty firing units of Pakistani Army were destroyed, he added.
(This story has been updated. Earlier, PTI erroneously reported that an “insulting” question by a TV anchor prompted the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to plan last year’s surgical strikes in PoK.)