Days after Congress’ claims that it had conducted 6 surgical strikes during its tenure in a bid to undermine the Modi government’s resolve to give the Indian armed forces a free hand in dealing with Pakistan, an RTI response has asserted that there is no record of any surgical strike prior to the 2016 surgical strike where the Indian army conducted surgical strike across the border to neutralise terror camps.
The Ministry of Defence was responding to an RTI question filed by Jammu-based activist Rohit Chaudhary. Chaudhary asked the Ministry of Defence if there were any surgical strikes conducted between the years 2004 and 2014 (essentially, during the Congress government).
In its reply, the Ministry of Defence, through the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), said they have records of only one strike, that was conducted in September 2016. This strike came 11 days after militants attacked an Army camp at Uri, killing 19 soldiers.
Congress government’s stand on the surgical strike conducted by the Indian Army in 2016 has been shoddy and confused, to say the least. When the surgical strikes were conducted in 2016, the Congress’ first response was to question the strikes against Pakistan and in fact, tow the Pakistan line while asking for proof of strikes.
Thereafter, the Congress party and its president Rahul Gandhi had gone on to claim that several surgical strikes were conducted during the Congress government’s tenure but it chose not to take credit for it and politicise the Indian Army. While the number of surgical strikes purportedly conducted during the Congress government’s tenure kept changing, the latest number was 6, as claimed by Congress.
After these assertions, three former Chiefs of the Indian Army, all during the Congress’ regime had strongly refuted the claims that surgical strikes such as the one conducted in 2016 were conducted earlier during the Congress government’s tenure. Earlier too in 2018, another RTI response had clarified that prior to 2016, there was no record of surgical strikes being conducted.
With this latest RTI response by the Ministry of Defence, one now wonders if Congress would stop politicising the Armed forces and lying about taking a tough stand against Pakistan.