Modi likens surgical strike to Israel's exploits
PM Modi, in his first reference to the surgical strike, likened it to the exploits of the Israeli army. Lauding the army's efforts, he said "we used to hear of Israel having done something like this. The country has seen that the Indian Army is no less than anyone else." PM Modi made the comments while addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh.
The Uri attack: Pakistan crosses the line
Four heavily armed terrorists, known as fidayeen, or a suicide squad, killed 17 soldiers and left 19 critically injured at a terror attack at the army's administrative base in Uri. The terror attack happened during the early hours, at around 4 am. The attack resulted in a six-hour gun battle in which all the four terrorists were killed.
India confirms "surgical strike" against PoK terror groups
India's Director General of Military Operations stated that Indian special forces targeted 7 terror camps across the LoC on the intervening night of 28-29 September in response to Uri. Indian special forces crossed the LoC at 3 locations to target camps being run by terrorists in PoK. Politicians across the spectrum lauded the army's efforts at eliminating the terrorists.
Not the first strike by Indian army?
Reports suggested that during a ceasefire violation in January 2013, the decapitated/mutilated bodies of Indian soldiers were found, allegedly done by Pakistani troops. Indian troops then carried out a similar surgical strike, allegedly beheading 6 Pakistani soldiers in retaliation.
Pakistan denies India's strike claims
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif categorically denied that any cross-border raid had taken place in PoK. He went to the extent of inviting Pakistani press to the LoC to show them that there was absolutely no evidence of terror camps or raids. Pakistan instead claimed that India resorted to cross border firing, not a surgical strike, on Pakistani troops, killing 2 and injuring 9.
Politicizing national security
Immediately after the announcement by the DGMO on 29 September, politicians across India's political spectrum lauded the army's efforts at combating terror. Soon after, political blame games ensued, with the Congress demanding that the government release "proof" of the strikes, claiming that the BJP was using the move for political mileage. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam went as far as calling the strikes "fake."
Reports reveal details of surgical strike
Journalist Pravin Swamy of the Indian Express released a report revealing details of the surgical strike conducted by the army. The report was compiled by speaking to eye witnesses and villagers who lived in the vicinity of the strike location within PoK and accessing "classified intelligence documents." The reports suggest the casualty count was much lower than previously estimated.
Details of the strike
From the details available, at least 6 locations were hit, targeting terror infrastructure and staging posts. Eyewitnesses reported that a building in Dudhnial, used by the Lashkar-e-Taiba as a staging post, where cadre are equipped before they cross the LoC, was gutted by Indian forces. Residents saw 5-6 bodies being loaded into a truck in the morning, allegedly for burial.
What were the other locations?
The Al-Haawi bridge in Dudhnial is the last point before terrorists cross into the Indian side of the LoC; residents heard intense firing from small arms and explosions as well. Troops also targeted another launch pad in Leepa, where a 3 floor building housing Lashkar cadre was destroyed. Witnesses said they saw 3-4 dead terrorists in Khatri Bagh, while others fled into adjoining forests.
Pak military town also hit
Witnesses stated that fire and explosions were also heard from the east bank of the Neelum river in Athmuqam. Athmuqam is a bustling tourism and economic hub, but also houses several sensitive Pakistani military installations. Witnesses said "several LeT cadre were killed in the attack."
Army gives green signal to release strike footage
India's army has reportedly given the green signal to the government to use the footage from the cross-border strike in "any matter it deems fit" to make Delhi's case. The news comes in the wake of the Pakistani establishment consistently denying that the cross-border surgical strike by Indian troops took place. Army officials reportedly said "the army is keen on releasing the footage."
Modi asks to tone down excitement, PoK cop confirms strike
In the aftermath of the debate on the "surgical strike" against Pakistan, PM Modi has ordered ministers to tone down the chest-thumping about the attack. Meanwhile, Ghulam Akbar, SP (special branch) of the Mirpur Range in PoK, being recorded without his knowledge admitted that at least 5 Pakistani soldiers were killed in India's "surgical strike." He stated that the Pakistan army was caught off-guard.
India not to release surgical strike evidence
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Ministry of External Affairs stated that India would not put out evidence of the surgical strike it carried out across the LoC in PoK. The government added that Pakistani officials were also "considering" the evidence India provided on Pakistan's role in Uri and Pathankot. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of playing politics over the Army's efforts.
Goa-Gujarat combination made surgical strike possible: Parrikar
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, while speaking at a "Know your Army" event at the Nirma University campus said that the Modi-Parrikar combination was instrumental in facilitating the surgical strike. Hinting at help from RSS ideologies, he said "maybe the RSS teachings was there, but this was very different kind of a combination." He also criticized opposition parties for seeking "proof" of the matter.