Media outlets (including ScoopWhoop News) had on Saturday reported that former defence minister Manohar Parrikar was ‘insulted’ by a TV anchor’s question which subsequently led to the surgical strikes. But, turns out that the news was false.
The report which was put by PTI had said that an insulting question to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore after the 2015 anti- insurgency operation along the Myanmar border prompted Parrikar to plan last year’s ‘surgical strikes’ in PoK.
Here is what Parrikar had said as per the earlier report which was incorrect:
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’,” Parrikar recalled.
“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.
PTI on Sunday issued a clarification saying that it had erroneously reported that an “insulting” question by a TV anchor prompted the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to plan last year’s surgical strikes in PoK.
It was later found that Manohar Parrikar was actually insulted by a June 4, 2015 ambush on an Indian Army convoy by the north-eastern militant group NSCN-K and that the PoK surgical strike was planned following that attack.
On June 4, 2015, north-eastern militant group NSCN-K ambushed an Indian Army convoy in Chandel district of Manipur and killed 18 jawans. Parrikar said 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,” he said, adding that on Army’s side, the only instance of an injury was a leech attaching itself to a soldier’s leg. Contrary to some reports, no helicopters were used. “I had placed helicopters (on stand by) only in case of emergency evacuation,” he said.
“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.
(With inputs from PTI)