First surgical strike happened in September '16: Lt General Ranbir Singh

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 20, 2019, 04.52 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

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Indian Army commandos had conducted surgical strikes deep into Pakistani territory across the LoC on September 29th, 2016 to destroy terrorist launchpads.

Commander-in-chief of Indian Army's Northern Command, Lt General Ranbir Singh, on Monday confirmed that the Indian Army had undertaken a surgical strike in September 2016.

"A few days ago DGMO said in a reply to an RTI that the first surgical strike happened in September 16', I don't want to go into what political parties say, they'll be given an answer by government. What I told you is a statement of fact," Lt General Ranbir Singh said.

Indian Army commandos had conducted surgical strikes deep into Pakistani territory across the Line of Control(LoC) on September 29th, 2016 to destroy terrorist launchpads. The strikes were in response to the attack on a military base in Uri on September 18 in which 17 Army soldiers had lost their lives.

Addressing a press conference, Ranbir Singh added that Balakot air strikes in Februrary were a  "major achievement".

"Air strikes by IAF on Balakot terrorist infrastructure was a major achievement, wherein our aircraft went deep into enemy territory and struck terror launchpads. Pakistanis carried out air operations the following day, however, they were given a befitting reply," he said.

Lt General Ranbir Singh also informed that the Army was able to neutralise 86 terrorists during various operations, with 20 apprehended. "We've also been able to bring back many of them to the mainstream," he said.

The Northern Command chief, however, added that locals in Kashmir joining militancy "remains a matter of concern". He asserted that Pakistan feels "absolutely starved" because of effective counter infiltration grid of the Indian Army.

"However, that realization is coming in the youth and people of Kashmir that we do not want to become fodder by the Pakistani agencies and various inimical elements, who want to promote terrorism and violence in J&K," he said.

"I am sure with the help of all the stakeholders we will be able to arrest this trend in the times to come as we are doing now," he added.

"Successful infiltration from the Line of Control(LoC) is virtually becoming very difficult. Therefore, for them to continue with this militancy, they want that the local content should be increased," he said.