Was this gun used in the surgical strikes? Were these weapons seized during the strikes? Did you take part in the strikes two years ago?
These were some of the frequently asked questions from visitors for the Army personnel at the three-day defence exhibition that began on Friday near India Gate in the national capital to mark the second anniversary of the Army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line on Control in Kashmir.
On Saturday, most visitors to the exhibition were eager to see and know more about the Bofors gun.
“Is it the Bofors gun? The same guns about which we read in the newspapers as scam,” asked Vikram Ahuja, a veteran. Havildar Hukum Singh replied that the gun has a maximum firing range of 30.9 km, and that he had operated it.
The Bofors guns were inducted in 1986.
“Was it used in surgical strike,” Himanshu, 27, asked, but appeared a little disappointed when Havildar Singh said that the gun was not taken across the LoC for the strikes. “But it was stationed inside Indian territory as back-up — to retaliate if firing came from across the border,” he added.
At the next stall, fellow soldier Ajay Kumar Yadav told visitors about twin-barreled ZU-23MM anti-aircraft gun — it can fire 1,600 to 2,000 bullets in a minute, and, like Bofors, was deployed as back-up support during the surgical strikes, Yadav explained.
There were a lot of curious visitors at the next stall as well. On display was AGL-17 Automatic Grenade Launcher, used by the Army during the surgical strikes. Asked about the weapon’s range, weight, killing area, rate of fire, etc, soldier Sachin Gujar explained and patiently answered each query.
On display at another stall were arms, ammunition, jackets, socks, shawl, gloves, fiber bulletproof plate, compass, lighter, mobile charger, wire cutter, maps, sticks, scissors, blade, pencil cell, shaving razor, food and medicine pieces that the Army has seized during different operations.
With floodlights around these displays making the exhibition more interesting for the visitors, there is also a video on the surgical strikes played on huge screens along Rajpath.