Last year Indian Army conducted a Surgical Strike across LOC, which was seen as a daring and unparalleled step by Modi government. It was appreciated by almost everyone except few political parties, obviously for their vested interests.
The opposition, especially the Congress party initially rejected the surgical strike. However by gauging the mood of People, it did a course correction and appreciated the step, however it also took the credit of lot many such Surgical Strikes the past. It was a point of contention between the government and opposition and many debates have been carried out on this sensitive issue.
Few months back an RTI was filed to know about any such Surgical Strikes in the past, and today the Directorate General of Military Operations respond to this RTI and clearly stated that Army does not have records of any “surgical strike” conducted before September 29, 2016.
Responding to an RTI application filed by PTI, the DGMO at the Integrated Headquarters of the Defence Ministry (Army) said a “surgical strike” was carried out on September 29, 2016.
“This section does not maintain records of any other surgical strikes, if any conducted earlier,” the reply said. It said a statement on this was issued by the DGMO at a press conference.
The RTI application with the Defence Ministry also sought the definition of the term “surgical strikes” in the records of Indian Army. To which 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 asked the Defence Ministry if the “surgical strike” mentioned in a DGMO statement of September 29, 2016, was the first ever in the history of the Indian Army. It also wanted to know if the Army had carried out a “surgical strike” between 2004 and 2014.
The Ministry transferred the application to the Integrated Headquarters (Army) which sought information from the DGMO. The DGMO provided the responses which were forwarded to the petitioner by the IHQ (Army).
This is certainly a big morale booster for the Modi government which was facing lot of criticism on this issue. This fact will certainly help them in long run and will cement their credibility. On the other hand this will be a big humiliation for Congress as all their claims were found to be false and it seems they were raising the issue of surgical strikes to get some political benefit.