'Insulting question' from TV anchor led to surgical strikes in PoK: Ex-defence minister Parrikar
After an anti-insurgency operation along the Myanmar border, Parrikar said, a TV anchor asked Rajyavardhan Rathore whether he would 'have the courage and capability of doing the same on the western front.' Photograph: (AFP)
Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday that it was an "insulting question" from a television anchor that had led to last year's surgical strikes in PoK.
The "insulting question" had been asked of union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
On June 4, 2015, Naga militant group NSCN-K had ambushed an Indian Army convoy in Manipur's Chandel district and killed 18 jawans.
PTI reported Parrikar as saying, when he was informed about the incident, "I felt insulted....A small terrorist organisation of 200 people killing 18 Dogra soldiers was an insult to the Indian Army and we sat in the afternoon and sat in the evening and worked out the (plan of) first surgical strike which was conducted on 8th June morning in which about 70-80 terrorists were killed (along the India-Myanmar border)."
"It was a very successful strike," Parrikar said. PTI reported him as adding that the only injury to the Army was a leech attaching itself to a soldier's leg.
Parrikar, who is now chief minister of Goa and was speaking there before a gathering of industrialists, then went on to talk about the "insulting question".
"But one question (from media) hurt me. (Union minister) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, an ex-Armyman, was on TV and he was explaining about all kinds of search operations. An anchor asked him 'would you have the courage and capability of doing the same on the western front'," PTI reported him as saying.
"I listened very intensely but decided to answer when the time came. The starting of September 29 (2016) surgical strike on the western border was 9th of June, 2015....We planned 15 months in advance. Additional troops were trained. Equipment was procured on priority basis," he said.