Gen Ranbir claims first surgical strike was carried out in Sept 2016

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UDHAMPUR: Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Northern Command, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh on Monday confirmed that the first surgical strike was carried out by India in September 2016.

Citing an RTI reply by Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Indian Army, Singh said that the first surgical strike by armed forces took place in September 2016, to avenge the Uri garrison attack, in which 19 soldiers were killed.

“A few days ago, DGMO said in a reply to an RTI that the first surgical strike happened in September 2016. I don’t want to go into what political parties say, they will be given an answer by the government. What I have told you is a statement of fact,” Lt General Singh said at a press conference here.

Singh was addressing a press conference here in which he was asked about Congress’ claims of conducting six surgical strikes during the UPA regime.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla had earlier told reporters at the AICC briefing that six surgical strikes were conducted during Manmohan Singh government.

Shukla had stated that two surgical strikes were carried out when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister–one on January 21, 2000, in Nadala Enclave across the Neelam River and second on September 18, 2003, in Baroh Sector in Poonch.

Monday He said that though locals in Kashmir joining militancy “remains a matter of concern,” Pakistan today feels “absolutely starved” because of effective counter infiltration grid of the Indian Army.

“Local recruitment remains a matter of concern for all of us. Last year, we had 217 local youth who had picked up militancy. This year, the number has significantly reduced and as on date there are only 40 youth who have picked up arms,” Lieutenant General Singh said.