Former union minister Arun Shourie tore into the government for releasing the video footage of the September 2016 surgical strikes that he said was being used for political propaganda purposes ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The footage was released by the government yesterday after a stinging jab from Mr Shourie who this week called the surgical strikes against Pakistan “farzical”, or a farce. The former union minister says he had used the phrase for the government, not the army.
“The way you (government) have used the strike for propaganda purposes, for building a self-image reduces an essential instrument to a farce. A strike became a farcical strike,” Mr Shourie told, convinced that the decision to release the video is “all election driven”.
Indian troops crossed the Line of Control in September 2016 to take out terror launch pads in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, weeks after Pakistani terrorists attacked an army base in Uri in Kashmir in the deadliest attack on the military. 19 soldiers were killed.
Sources said the footage was released on the instructions of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The release of the video footage of reignited a war of words between the Congress and the ruling BJP over the strikes, with the Congress accusing the government of seeking to take credit for the sacrifice and valour of the armed forces.
Ever since the surgical strikes took place, the opposition had been raising questions and demanding proof of the military action.
The strike was conducted in 2016 when the Indian Army destroyed terrorist launch pads and killed many terrorists.
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From The Side Of BJP
“The operation was monitored from a control room in Udhampur, Headquarters of Indian Army’s strategic Northern Command,” Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda, the then Northern Army Commander told.
“One of the major challenges that the team that went across, faced was that the camps were located close to Pakistan Army posts,” Hooda added. He further said that the “feed was also going to Delhi”. “The whole operation lasted for six hours. The first target was hit at midnights and the last at about 6-6.15,” he added.
What Congress Said?
Addressing a press conference, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala charged that while on the one hand, the Modi government is seeking credit for the sacrifice and valour of the armed forces, on the other it has failed to provide direction and vision to deal with Pakistan.
He also accused the government of meting out “step-motherly treatment” to the armed forces by not providing them with state-of-the-art equipment and slashing their budgetary allocation.
“As the Modi Government seeks to politicise the bravery of our soldiers and their determination in conducting the surgical strikes through ‘headline management’, the Nation demands answers,” Surjewala said.
“Is the Modi government endangering our ‘security infrastructure’? Is the Modi government guilty of putting the lives of our soldiers in danger? Is the Modi government using our ‘soldiers’ as ‘political fodder’ – using their sacrifice for vote garnering?” he asked.
By making public the videos of the strikes has the government not somehow endangered lives of armed forces participating in them as also civilians living along the Line of Control, he asked