Cong, BJP in war of words over Army’s 2011 ‘Operation Ginger’
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress on Sunday indulged in a war of words after it emerged that the Indian Army conducted a deadly surgical strike on Pakistan’s military outposts in 2011 as well.
Codenamed ‘Operation Ginger’, the strike is said to be the deadliest cross-border operation in which at least eight Pakistani soldiers were killed and several others fatally injured by Indian commandos.
Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha said: “It is an insult to the army and the defence establishment to say that such surgical strikes (September 29) never happened before. It is only that the then Manmohan Singh government never publicised such strikes because it was not consistent with our policy.”
He said it was the responsibility of the media, the Congress and everyone else to expose the “brazen lies propagated by the ruling party (BJP) for political advantage”.
On the other hand, the BJP said no covert military operation of the magnitude of the September 29 strikes had been done before.
“The surgical strike was done by the army. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided the leadership and comfort to the army to conduct a strike of this magnitude,” BJP spokesman Syed Zafar Islam said.
He said the Congress was feeling insecure due to the rising popularity of the Modi government.
A deadly surgical strike by the Indian Army in Pakistani territory in 2011 left at least eight Pakistani soldiers dead, with three of them decapitated, a report published on Sunday said.
Details regarding the tit-for-tat attack that took place in the summer of 2011 have come out amid heightened India-Pakistan tensions marked by an Indian surgical strike on September 29.
The Hindu newspaper citing confidential official documents, video and photographic evidences said India and Pakistan carried out “two of the bloodiest cross-border surgical strikes” killing 13 soldiers.
Five of the slain soldiers were decapitated. The Pakistani soldiers took away the heads of two Indian soldiers and left behind a third badly wounded who died in hospital, the daily said.
In the revenge attack, Indian soldiers brought back heads of three Pakistani soldiers, the Hindu said.
Major General (retired) S.K. Chakravorty, who planned and executed the operation as the chief of Kupwara-based 28 Division, confirmed the Indian raid but refused to discuss details.
According to the newspaper, Pakistani raiders struck a remote army post in Gugaldhar in Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir on July 30, 2011.
The attackers returned with the heads of Havildar Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh of 20 Kumaon.
A soldier of the 19 Rajput, who reported the attack, died in a hospital.