Surgical strike day: How army soldiers destroyed terror launchpads
The government is celebrating the fourth anniversary of the surgical strikes on Monday. The strikes against the terror groups were carried out in response to the deadly attack on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri in September, 2016.
During his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reminded the nation about the strikes.
“Four years ago, around this time, the world witnessed the courage, bravery and valour of our soldiers during the surgical strike. Our brave soldiers had just one mission and goal - to protect the glory and honour of mother India at any cost. They did not care for their lives, at all. They kept moving on the line of duty and we all witnessed how they returned victoriously. They made mother India proud,” PM Modi had said.
The strikes were carried out by Indian Army’s special forces which crossed the Line of Control (LoC) on the night of September 27-28, 2016, and destroyed the terror pads in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). This was in response to the suicide attack carried out by Pakistan based terrorists on an army base in Uri north Kashmir’s Baramulla district o September 18 that year. Nineteen soldiers were killed in the attack.
PM Modi had said that the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that they will not be forgiven and the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain.
The army’s build-up for the strikes began on September 24. The special forces squads set out for the mission armed with night-vision devices, Tavor 21 and AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-fired missiles, Heckler and Koch pistols, high explosive grenades and plastic explosives. The teams were 30-strong each and had specific targets.
Civilians living close to border in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab were evacuated started at 10 pm on September 27, before Indian soldiers went across.
These terror camps were meant to serve as launchpads to send terrorists into the Indian territory. Sentries at these launchpads were neutralised by snipers before the troops went in and finished the nearly five-hour-long operation.
The army had said that Indian soldiers razed six launchpads to the ground and gunned down 45 terrorists at various locations. These launchpads were under surveillance for over one week before the operation.