Rahul Gandhi was caught misleading the people by claiming that 3 surgical strikes were conducted during the UPA rule under then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi while speaking at a function in Udaipur in the poll-bound state of Rajasthan said that 3 surgical strikes were conducted during the UPA rule under then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
This is not the first time when Congress leaders have made such claim. Earlier this year in June Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had also made a similar claim. He had listed eight "surgical strikes" conducted prior to 2016. He said:
"We are proud that our forces successfully conducted multiple surgical strikes over the last two decades, particularly post 2000 -- January 21, 2000 (Nadala Enclave, across Neelam river); September 18, 2003 (Baroh Sector, Poonch); June 19, 2008 (Bhattal Sector, Poonch); August 30 to September 1, 2011 (Sharda Sector, across Neelam river Valley in Kel); January 6, 2013 (Sawan Patra checkpost); July 27 to 28, 2013 (Nazapir Sector); August 6, 2013 (Neelam Valley); January 14, 2014; September 28 to 29, 2016."
In response to an RTI application seeking the definition of the term Surgical Strikes in the army record, the DGMO replied: “As per the information available in ‘open source’ the definition of ‘surgical strike’ is ‘…an operation which is planned based on specific intelligence, on a legitimate military target for maximum effect and with minimum or no collateral damage. It involves deliberate insertion to the target area, precise execution and swift extrication of the body of troops back to the base’.”
An RTI application was filed to ask the Defense Ministry if the “surgical strike” mentioned by the DGMO in the press statement of September 29, 2016 was the first ever in the Indian Army’s history or not. It also enquired whether the army had conducted a “surgical strike” between 2004 and 2014.
Replying to the RTI application on surgical strikes, the Directorate General of Military Operations of the Army (DGMO) has said that the Army does not have records of any “surgical strike” conducted before September 29, 2016. The response also said: “This section does not maintain records of any other surgical strikes if any conducted earlier.” - Reported by Indian Express
A few days after the surgical strike in 2016, Director General of Military Operations from 2012 to 2014, Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia had countered the Congress's claims of cross-border strikes during his tenure. He said the surgical strikes now and the operations then "can't be compared". "Earlier strikes, they were not even strikes, they were cross-border operations done at the local level". You can watch his statement here:
Conclusion: In response to an RTI about Surgical strike during the UPA governance, the DGMO of the Indian army stated that there never been a surgical strike before September 29,2016. Hence Rahul Gandhi's claim is false.
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