Nearly two years after the Indian Army conducted "surgical strikes" on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) in September 2016, video clips have surfaced that show destruction of bunkers and other military constructions as well as casualties.
TV channels broadcast the videos on Wednesday evening, and claimed they accessed it from official sources. The footage was reportedly shot from drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and was shot on thermal imaging cameras used by the army to monitor the operation.
As reported by Zee News, which accessed the videos from the Indian Army, the surgical strikes was monitored from New Delhi by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, then army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Pakistan, however, denied that any such strikes had taken place, and instead maintained that it was "unprovoked firing" by India that killed two of its soldiers.
Hours after the videos were released, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to say there needs to be a discussion on what changed on the ground because of the surgical strikes.
There is nothing to be gained from debating whether the #SurgicalStrikes took place. What we should be objectively discussing is what the strikes changed on the ground.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 28, 2018
A report on The Indian Express quoted a former Northern Army commander as saying the videos are genuine. Lt General DS Hooda (retd), former Northern Army Commander who was directly in-charge of the surgical strikes, was quoted in the report as saying, "The videos are real. I can confirm that."
"When the surgical strikes happened, my view was that the videos should have been released as proof. It is good that they have come out now," Hooda added.
In the days following the incident, Opposition parties, including Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, had demanded the government release "proof" of the incident in order to reject Pakistan's claims of unprovoked firing. "Since the surgical strikes have happened, Pakistan has stooped to the level of conducting dirty politics. They are trying to take international reporters to the border and saying that no strike has happened. I appeal that they (the government) should unveil the false propaganda that is being spread by Pakistan," Kejriwal said.
Senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had also called on the government to release proof. "Until the Indian government and the prime minister don't give a proper response, such questions will continue (to be raised). The DGMO never held any press conference. But the next day, BJP put up banners. This also needs to be investigated," Nirupam had said.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 15:29 PM