Surgical Strike: Soldiers were trained for a year-and-a-half says retd general

The surgical strike story: Retired general Deependra Singh Hooda on Wednesday said soldiers were trained for a year and a half for the Indian army’s surgical strike inside Pakistani territory in 2016.
Response of the Indian Army at the border is strong, said Lt Gen (retd) Deependra Singh Hooda here on Wednesday(Hindustan Times)
Response of the Indian Army at the border is strong, said Lt Gen (retd) Deependra Singh Hooda here on Wednesday(Hindustan Times)
Published on Jan 24, 2019 02:32 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By HT Correspondent, Lucknow

Lieutenant general (retired) Deependra Singh Hooda on Wednesday said soldiers were trained for a year and a half for the Indian army’s surgical strike inside Pakistani territory in 2016.

Hooda, who oversaw the surgical strike as the northern army commander at the time, emphasised the training was not a one-day job.

He made the point while delivering a talk at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) here on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

“Four-five targets were selected and soldiers were trained for one-and-half-years on those targets as we had no doubt that we had to cross inside the Pakistan border and reply in a big way, post the Uri garrison town attack,” Hooda said.

At least 21 army personnel were killed when terrorists attacked the garrison town in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18, 2016.

The challenge, Hooda said, was not just to carry out the attack across border but to return once the strike was done.

“Everything was focused on, including what if the same route cannot be taken to return. Even the route to go (there) was worked out as there are animals that alert men if an outsider comes in,” he said, sharing details of the attack.

Prior to the attack, a lot of work was done to gather information on the target, he said.

“Not only animals, but the entire area also has (land) mines, hence the selection of the route was important,” he said.

Asked if Pakistan will remain quiet, he said (Pakistan) may not remain silent.

“We have a hostile border, but the thing is we have understood that yes, this is an option and we have sent a strong message to Pakistan as earlier an operation on this scale was not done. Activities on the border will continue and we need to take our action,” he said.

Earlier, he told the medicos how Indian soldiers lived on the border and kept vigil even at a height of 21,129 feet, braving -50 degree Celsius, poor oxygen levels and consuming tinned food for weeks. He showed some rare pictures of armymen deployed in extreme conditions.

“The response of the Indian army at the border is strong,” he said.

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