Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that the Indian armed forces have carried out three cross border strikes in the last five years. While the details of two strikes are already in the public domain, Singh stopped short of revealing details about the third strike. “The country will not provoke anyone, but will not leave
anyone if provoked,” Singh added.
“Pichle paanch varsho mein, teen baar apni seema ke bahar jaa kar hum logon ne air strike kar kaamyaabi haasil ki hai. Do ki jaankari apko dunga, teesri ki nahi dunga. (In the last five years, we have done air strikes three times by crossing the border. I will give you details of the two strikes but not about the third),” Rajnath was quoted as saying by ANI. The statement came during an address in a public rally in Mangaluru.
“One time you saw in Uri, terrorists who came from Pakistan killed 17 of our soldiers, who were sleeping at night in a cowardly attack. After that, our soldiers also decided. Whatever happened after that you know it very well, I need not tell….now you are seeing. The first attack happened. The second one was air strike… happened after Pulwama attack. I won’t give you information about the third one,” Singh said without elaborating.
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The statement comes days after de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan, following the deadly Pulwama attack, when 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a suicide bomb attack carried out by the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
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Days after the attack, which was claimed by Pakistan-based JeM, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted air strikes deep into Pakistan in Balakot, bombing terror camps being run by the banned organisation. In retaliation, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aircrafts crossed into Indian air space launching missiles which nearly missed Indian military installations.
In the ensuing aerial combat in Jammu and Kashmir, an IAF MiG-21 Bison aircraft piloted by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was shot down by PAF while he was trying to intercept the intruding aircrafts. Although he shot down one F-16 of the PAF, he fell across the LoC. Having been ejected inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Abhinandan was then captured by the Pakistan Army and handed over to India on March 1.
On September 29, 2016, the Special Forces of the Indian Army crossed the LoC and destroyed several terror launch pads in what came to be known as Surgical Strikes. The strike was conducted eleven days after the heinous attack by Pakistan based terrorists on the Indian Army garrison in Uri of J&K in which India lost 19 soldiers.