Army's Northern Command chief backs surgical strikes after DS Hooda's comment

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 08 December 2018, 09:31 PM
Army's Northern Command Chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh
Army's Northern Command Chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh

The surgical strikes by Indian forces on September 29, 2016, remained a matter of debate on Saturday, with the Congress targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Lt General (retd) DS Hooda said the constant hype around the secret operation was “unwarranted”. However, Army's Northern Command Chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said the surgical strikes were a successful tactical operation which conveyed a clear message to Pakistan to stop any misadventure along the Line of Control (LoC), Army's Northern Command Chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said on Saturday.

"From military point of view, these were successful tactical operations, which conveyed a very strategic message and the Indian Army was able to convey a very clear message to Pakistan that should they not stop any kind of misadventure along the LoC, they shall be given befitting reply," Singh told reporters in Kapurthala on the sidelines of his visit to Sainik School, his alma mater.

He, however, refused to comment on the politicisation of surgical strikes.

Also Read | Rahul Gandhi praises ex-army officer DS Hooda over surgical strikes statement, slams PM Modi 

Singh was the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) when the operation was conducted. Then Singh had announced the operation at a press conference.

Singh added that the actions were carried out in an extremely professional manner to meet the objectives.

“Surgical strike is only one of the options through which we stop infiltration. The armed forces have a range of options and they are being analysed at all times and the best course of action is put into effect,” he said.      

Also Read | 'Unwarranted' hype around surgical strike, says Lt General DS Hooda

Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after Lt General (retd) DS Hooda said the constant hype around the surgical strikes was 'unwarranted', alleging that the PM used the military action for "political capital". Speaking during a panel discussion on the 'Role of Cross-Border Operations and Surgical Strikes' on the first day of Military Literature Festival 2018 in Chandigarh, General Hooda said: "I do think there was too much hype over the surgical strike. It was important and we had to do it. Now how much should it have been politicised, whether it was right or wrong is something that should be asked to the politicians.”

Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said: "Spoken like a true soldier General. India is so proud of you. Mr 36 has absolutely no shame in using our military as a personal asset.       

"He used the surgical strikes for political capital and the Rafale deal to increase Anil Ambani's real capital by 30,000 Cr. #SurgicalStrike (sic)."

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala thanked Lt Gen (retd) Hooda for "exposing the petty politicisation by PM Modi".

"No one can use the valour &  sacrifice of our brave soldiers to score cheap political points Modiji is squarely guilty of compromising National Security & Strategic Interests by unwarranted chest thumping!" he wrote on Twitter. 

Lt Gen (retired) DS Hooda who was the Northern Army Commander when the operation was carried out on September 29, 2016 across the Line of Control (LoC). He saw the live video feed of the surgical strike, which was launched in retaliation to the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists.

First Published: Saturday, December 08, 2018 09:26 PM
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