Surgical strike 2.0: Swift cross-LoC raid by Indian Army shocks Pakistan
Troops cross LoC, surround enemy, blast IED and shoot targets in a flash; local units authorised to carry out such attacks if needed.
Army commandos in a swift and surprise cross border strike killed four Pakistani troops in the Rawalkot area opposite Poonch sector in India, in a major operation across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
This was to avenge the killing of four Indian soldiers including a Major by a Border Action Team of the Pakistan army in Rajouri on Saturday.
In the director military operations-level talks between the two armies, the Pakistani side accepted that its soldiers had been killed in the operation by India but denied the involvement of its troops in the killing of four soldiers of the 2 Sikh regiment, top government sources said.
A small team of an infantry battalion deployed in the Poonch sector crossed over into PoK and placed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for the enemy troops coming to patrol in the area which was a temporary post and was close to a water source, sources told Mail Today.
After waiting for some time, the Pakistani troops walking in the area triggered a massive IED explosion which stunned them for a few seconds.
Waiting for the Pakistanis to fall in their trap, the army commandos opened a barrage of fire with small arms which resulted in the instant death of three Pakistani personnel of 59 Baloch regiment while another died later because of injuries, the sources said.
The Pakistan fatalities include one major-rank officer and three soldiers named Sajjad, Abdul Rehman and Mohammad Usman, they added.
The operation came over a year after India’s Para Special Forces had crossed over into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir to destroy terrorist launch pads there.
Sources said the latest raid was carried out by the local brigade commander but the go-ahead had come from the topmost level of the army headquarters.
“The units involved in the operation had informed the headquarters that they were planning an operation on ground which would be carried out soon. The army headquarters in return instructed them to do it swiftly as Pakistanis would not be expecting a retaliatory action so soon by the Indian army,” the sources said.
Generally, army troops retaliate to such actions by enemy after a week or 15 days when the situation cools down.
The enemy also gets more careful as it is expecting some action, they said.
“The fire assault at the enemy troops lasted for less than a couple of minutes as this was enough to complete the operation and the crack troops returned immediately,” the sources said.
The Pakistanis had also trapped the Indian soldiers after planting an IED and, after it was triggered, they had fired at them as part of a cross-border action, said the sources.
Top government officials said the army chief has briefed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in detail about the operation and the activities of Pakistani formations.
Sources said the operation has been carried out as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the defence minister have given free hand to the army to retaliate in a manner it wants to in case it is under attack from the enemy.
“After the 2 Sikh troops were martyred by the Pakistanis, the government let the army plan and implement required retaliatory action without any interference in operational matters,” the sources said.
They added that after the cross-border raids, all the formations along the loc have been asked to remain on high alert as the Pakistanis would also try to launch a counter-attack.
“All the units have been asked to maintain vigil and take all necessary precautions against any such Pakistani misadventure,” they said.
On the incident in which four Indian soldiers were killed, sources said the visibility of troops from the other side of the loc changes with seasons and a soldier may not be visible at a certain location in monsoon rains from 30 metres away but could be spotted from a kilometre away in the winters.
“All these factors should be taken into account while patrolling along the LoC apart from the changing pattern of guarding the border to avoid the Pakistani bat action and inviting cross-border fire,” officials said.
Sources said the coming days would be crucial to determine how the incident impacts the situation along the LoC and all Pakistani misadventures would be answered in equal measure.