In its reply to an RTI, which sought to know how many surgical strikes on Pakistan were carried out during the UPA era, the Indian Army Tuesday said it does not have any data about them. “This section does not hold any data pertaining to surgical strikes if carried out before September 29, 2016,” stated the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army in response to an RTI filed by Jammu-based activist Rohit Choudhary.
The applicant had sought information about how many surgical strikes on Pakistan were carried out between 2004 to 2014 and after September 2014, and how many of them were successful.
Responding to the RTI, Lt Colonel A D S Jasrotia for Chief Public Information Officer of the Indian Army had in April last year stated, “Indian Army conducted surgical strike along the LC on September 29, 2016. No Indian soldier lost his life during the surgical strike.”
Last week, Manmohan Singh, who was the prime minister during UPA term, stated in an interview that the Army had in the past conducted multiple surgical strikes on Pakistan. “Multiple surgical strikes took place during our tenure, too. For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces than to be used for vote garnering exercises,” Singh had told Hindustan Times in an interview.
The BJP, however, questioned the claims made by Singh. Alleging that the Congress has a “habit of lying,” Union minister General VK Singh asked, “Will you please let me know which ‘So-called Surgical Strike’ are you attributing to my tenure as COAS. Am sure you must have hired some Coupta to invent another story.”
The 2016 surgical strikes were carried out by Indian forces on terror camps across the Line of Control, 11 days after militants attacked an army camp at Uri killing 19 soldiers. Terror launch pads were destroyed and huge casualties inflicted among militants by Indian soldiers during the surgical strike.
While Pakistan had denied it, Congress had then accused BJP of politicising the country’s defence forces.