'Another surgical strike into Pakistan', reports Dainik Jagran; defence ministry says otherwise

The ministry of defence claims the Indian Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LOC in Balakot

Representative Image of army (photo: IANS)
Representative Image of army (photo: IANS)

NH Political Bureau

One of India’s leading Hindi dailies, the Dainik Jagran, published a report on August 22 claiming that Indian Army and Border Security Force (BSF) commandos had crossed over to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and conducted another surgical strike on Saturday, 19 August.

The Hindi daily, which is known for its ‘nationalistic’ reporting, gave a blow-by-blow description of events and claimed that eight terrorists were neutralised by the Indian Army.

'All 12–15 commandos who crossed over and took part in the surgical strike came back,' said the report published by the Jagran.

Quoting 'sources', the Jagran report claimed that the Army had destroyed four of the bases used as launching pads by Pakistani terrorists, and had supposedly crossed 2.5 kilometres past the Line of Control (LoC) into the Pakistan side to do so on Saturday night.

Other publications — mainly Hindi newspapers —  also echoed the same report, claiming ‘another surgical strike’.

Screengrab of the Dainik Jagran, 22 August 2023
Screengrab of the Dainik Jagran, 22 August 2023

However, within hours of the Jagran's publication, the ministry of defence claimed that the Indian Army had foiled an infiltration bid in the Balakot Sector along the LOC.

The ‘clarification’ said that two terrorists had been killed by the troops while they were trying to infiltrate.

The ministry of defence's statement says: “Intelligence inputs received from multiple intelligence agencies and Jammu & Kashmir Police revealed the presence of terrorists waiting to cross the LoC from the Balakot sector. Based on these inputs, (our) own surveillance grid was placed on heightened alert and multiple ambushes were sited at suitable location(s)."

“Effective fire resulted in one terrorist falling down to the ground near the LoC. Additional troops were then moved into the area and search operations commenced in the afternoon after improvement of weather conditions and visibility,” it continued.

During the 'searches'—according to the defence ministry—the Army recovered an AK-47 rifle with two magazines, 30 rounds, two grenades, and Pak-origin medicines. The MoD concluded with saying, “Our troops continue to remain on alert and maintain vigil to foil any attempts of infiltration.”

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Published: 22 Aug 2023, 1:49 PM