Replying to an RTI application on surgical strikes, the Directorate General of Military Operations of the Army (DGMO) has said that the Army does not have records of any “surgical strike” conducted before September 29, 2016. The response also said: “This section does not maintain records of any other surgical strikes, if any conducted earlier.” The reply added that the DGMO had issued a statement on this at a press conference.
The RTI application also sought the definition of the term “surgical strikes” in the Army’s records. 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 application had further asked the Defense Ministry if the “surgical strike” mentioned by the DGMO in the press statement of September 29, 2016 was the first ever in the Indian Army’s history or not. It also enquired whether the army had conducted a “surgical strike” between 2004 and 2014. The application was transferred to the Integrated Headquarters (Army) by the ministry which sought information from the DGMO.
The responses forwarded to the petitioner by the Integrated Headquarters was provided by the DGMO. The reply also said that Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was severely hit in the cross-LoC surgical strikes on terror launch pads carried out by the Indian Army with assessment reports of radio intercepts indicating that around 20 of its militants were killed. It further said that the Indian Army had moved across the LoC and smashed four launch pads that were under the guard of a Pakistani post located 700 metres from the LoC, in a well calibrated operation on the intervening night of September 28-29.
– PTI inputs