Third Surgical Strike, Which Rajnath Singh Referred to, May Have Been Conducted in Myanmar
Besides the two surgical strikes — the first in response to the Uri terror attack, the second in response to the Pulwama attack — India has carried out a third surgical strike. But this was not carried out on Pakistan or PoK soil, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told News18 in an exclusive interview.
Speaking at a rally in Karnataka on March 9, Rajnath Singh had for the first time talked about India’s third surgical strike.
"In the past five years, we have crossed the border thrice and our men have successfully conducted air strikes. I will give you information about two of those incidents, but not the third," Rajnath Singh said while addressing a gathering of BJP workers in Mangaluru.
Singh has since repeated the claim at another rally but refused to elaborate on the third surgical strike.
To a question about whether the third strike was also carried out in Pakistan, Singh said, “I didn't say that India has carried out three surgical strikes on Pakistan. I said that in the past five years, we have carried out three strikes. Everybody knows about the two strikes.”
When requested for some more information on the third strike, Singh said, “I can't say anything which is incorrect. But here I cannot go into the details of it, I don't want to bring the details into the open. Lots of people know about it...I don't have any issue with saying that the third one did not happen in Pakistan. Only two happened in Pakistan.”
National security experts say that the only other country whose borders Indian soldiers have crossed in retaliatory attack are those of Myanmar.
Indian forces have crossed the border to carry out big strikes in Myanmar twice over the last five years. Once against Naga rebels who killed 18 Indian army soldiers in an ambush in June 2015. And the other more recently in coordination with Myanmar army against Myanmar based insurgent group, Arakan Army, averting a possible threat to the Kaladan transit and transport project involving India and Myanmar.
The first attack was carried out in response to the attack by North East based rebels - NSCN (K) and KYKL — in Chandel district in Manipur on June 4, 2015 in which 18 Indian Army soldiers were killed and 15 were injured.
Chronologically, this was India’s first surgical strike.
Five days later, on June 9, a ‘crack team’ of special commandos carried out a strike in coordination with Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence and Research and Analysis Wing. The then army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag had supervised the operation. Various numbers of militants, attributed to source, were reported killed.
The second, more recent operation was carried out in coordination with Myanmar Army in an operation launched on February 17, which ended on February 2. Arakan Army (AA), a Myanmar based insurgent outfit, were trained by another strong outfit, Kachin Independent Army in Kachin area bordering Yunan province of China. Members of the AA were also planning on infiltrating into India.