In September 2016, India scripted history by showing the spine needed to teach Pakistan a lesson. On 28-29 September that year, Indian Army conducted the surgical strikes across the LoC in Pak-Occupied Kashmir region to avenge the killing of 19 soldiers in Uri by Pak-sponsored terrorists – an incident that happened on 18 September. In spite of Pakistan’s history of attacking India through terrorists it creates, nurtures, funds, arms and trains, never before in recorded history had India conducted surgical strikes of such an intensity against Pakistan due to the fear of previous governments that such a move could lead to an all-out war. But the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was different.
‘Uri’, the movie, is based on the surgical strikes.
1. ‘Uri’, the film, will not show you every detail related to the surgical strike
The operational details of the strike itself will never be revealed to the public, and whatever is known, though from reliable sources, is only a portion of the entire story.
2. The strikes were carried out by men from the Indian Army’s Para Special Forces regiment.
3. We will never know the actual name of any of the soldiers or the Major who was decorated with the Kirti Chakra for his gallantry in the surgical strikes
He was at the time the second-in-command 2IC of his Para SF regiment. His name and face will remain classified till the Army wants. It is possible that Vicky Kaushal’s character of Major Vihan Shergill is based on this Major.
4. Three teams were sent for the surgical strikes
Two Colonel-ranked officers were the commanders of the teams that were sent to avenge the terror attack. It is unclear whether they themselves led any of the teams.
5. There were 19 men in the team led by the Major who won the Kirti Chakra. Almost the same number of men were in the other two.
6. All three teams crossed the LoC at different locations – one of which was Uri.
7. The SF teams that were sent on the mission had coincidentally trained as a single unit in winter 2015
This special training had created the necessary bonding in the whole unit thus resulting in absolutely precise coordination between every soldier of the teams.
8. Only the highest authorities of the country knew of the plan
The names included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval, the then Army chief General Dalbir Singh, then vice Chief of Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, the then Northern Army commander Lt Gen DS Hooda, the then Chinar Corps commander Lt Gen Satish Dua, the then White Knight Corps commander Lt Gen RR Nimborhkar, the two Colonels whose Para SF men went for the kill, and a handful of top military commanders.
9. In spite of knowing everything, PM Modi did not for a moment give the impression that something was cooking
He continued to make the standard statements every PM before him used to make, thus giving the impression to Indians and the nation’s enemies that New Delhi will go the usual “angry speech rhetoric” and not do anything – keeping to its infamous reputation of inaction.
10. Around seven terror launch pads were targeted which left at least 80 terrorists dead.
11. Only one Para soldier was slightly injured in the mission and no one was left behind
This is remarkable because the military planning had also taken into account the number of soldiers who could lose their life in the mission. In fact, this was one of the major reasons why the Indian political establishment was particularly proud of the success of the surgical strikes.
12. On their way back, the Major and his men took a longer route to fool the Pakistani soldiers who were expecting the SF on the shorter route.
13. Pakistani soldiers fired everything from sniper rounds to rocket launchers to mortars, but could not hit a single SF jawan
It was a landmine which caused the only injury suffered by the Para SF.
14. All the Para SF crossed over the LoC at 4.30 am, 36 hours after they had left for their historic mission.
15. The entire operation was monitored from Army HQ in Delhi, at the Northern Command HQ in Udhampur, and at Nagrota and Srinagar, the HQs of White Knight and Chinar Corps, respectively.
16. Drones were in the air capturing every detail through the entire duration of the operation.
17. Besides the Major, 5 men from the 3 teams were honoured with Shaurya Chakra; 13 others received Sena Medal for gallantry.
18. The Para SF men selected for the mission were equipped with the best technology available with the Indian armed forces.
19. The 2016 surgical strike was not the first under the BJP-led NDA government
A surgical strike against NSCN(K) terrorists in Myanmar had been carried out in June 2015. Special Forces of the Indian Army had targeted the camps of the terrorist group inside Myanmar and killed 60 insurgents.
Every soldier had on them Israeli-made assault rifles, night-vision googles, bulletproof jackets, communication devices, and every equipment needed by a highly-trained SF soldier on an audacious mission.
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