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Inside Story of India's Surgical Strikes to Avenge Uri Terror Attack is Out

In the aftermath of the Uri attacks, top Indian officials and military officers went into a huddle at the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi’s South Block. A response, they felt, was necessary.

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Updated:January 21, 2018, 7:40 AM IST
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Inside Story of India's Surgical Strikes to Avenge Uri Terror Attack is Out
The documentary, which premiers on History TV18 at 9pm on Monday (January 22), recreates the dramatic events of the early hours of September 29 (TV Grab)
New Delhi: On September 29, 2016, the world woke up to the news that India had conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The deaths of 19 Indian Army troops, who were martyred in the Uri terror attacks just ten days prior, were avenged. A year and four months later, History TV18 spoke to the people in charge of planning and executing India’s decisive military action to bring an exclusive inside track on the Surgical Strikes.

The documentary, which premiers on History TV18 at 9pm on Monday (January 22), recreates the dramatic events of the early hours of September 29. In the aftermath of the Uri attacks, top Indian officials and military officers went into a huddle at the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi’s South Block. A response, they felt, was necessary.

“Even the loss of life of one soldier is extremely painful and we had lost so many that day. We cannot let the sacrifice of our brave soldiers go in vain,” said former Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General (retired) Dalbir Singh.

The commanding officer of the Special Forces unit, who chose to remain anonymous, said, “It would require a substantial amount of damage to the enemy for the kind of damage that they had done on us.” The scale of the Uri attacks, said defence expert and author Nitin Gokhale, made it clear that some demonstrative action would have to take place.

Talking about the reason India chose to hit back, Lt Gen. (retired) DS Hooda, who was leading the planning and execution of the surgical strikes, said, “The message had to go to Pakistan that if you are going to come and hit us on our side, we can also come across and hit you on our side.”

The decision was made and India would hit back. India would put boots on the ground in PoK Kashmir. Two of the Indian Army’s Elite Paratrooper Special Forces operating out of Jammu and Kashmir were entrusted with this mission. “I think this kind of action and the paratroopers are made for each other,” said then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, explaining why this unit was chosen to carry out the strikes.



The Army decided to hit multiple targets in enemy territory. Two strike teams — Strike Team 1 and 2, were formed and given two targets in North Kashmir. On September 27, at 1500 hours (3 pm), the preparations for the strikes began. “(We knew) each and every component of the target, the exact strength and in one of the places, we even knew the name of the terrorist commander who was there,” said the commanding officer.

On September 28, Strike Team 1 was dropped off by an Army helicopter in an unmarked landing zone. At 2340 hours (11:40 PM), the team started to make its way across the LoC, one of the most heavily militarised ceasefire lines in the world. The commanding officer said, “We went through an area where nobody could see us, not even our own (patrol) party. The surprise had to be maintained.”

Further South, Strike Team 2 had also started to move. By 0200 hours (2am) on September 28, 2 hours and 20 minutes later, Strike Teams 1 and 2 had taken assault positions. Then the wait began. It was decided that both teams would attack at first light. After four hours of waiting in the cover of darkness, the time had come to strike. Both teams, in a coordinated attack, launched India’s historic surgical strike at 0600 hours (6 am) as the Sun rose on September 28.

Disclaimer: History TV18 India is a part of Network18

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