In September 2016, four terrorists of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed entered the Army camp in Uri near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and launched an audacious suicide attack on an Indian Army brigade Headquarters, leaving 19 soldiers dead.
In retaliation, the Indian Army troops including the commandos from various Para (Special Forces) units deployed in Jammu and Kashmir carried out strikes across the border on multiple targets.
Since then, the government has been observing September 29 as “Surgical Strike Day”
The 2016 Surgical Strike
Though all the four terrorists were killed, New Delhi was under immense pressure to avenge the killings of its soldiers. A decision was then taken to carry out performative attack across the LoC, targeting the launch-pads used by militants to conduct their cross-border attacks.
Three to four teams, comprising of close to 80 soldiers of the Army’s Para Special Forces, crossed the Line Of Control to enter the Pakistan-held side, under the cover of heavy artillery fire.
By 2 AM, according to the Free Press Journal, the special forces teams had travelled 1–3 km on foot, and had begun destroying terrorist bases with hand-held grenades and 84 mm rocket launchers.
The teams then swiftly returned to the Indian side of the Line of Control. Only one Indian soldier was wounded after he tripped a landmine.
Later in an interview to news agency ANI, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he ordered the troops to not think about the success or failure of the operation but to be back “before sunrise”.
The move by the government to carry out the surgical strike to avenge the killing of 19 Indian soldiers was appreciated across the country.
The strike later led to a period of increased tensions between India and Pakistan, resulting in intensified artillery and small arms fire across the LoC by Pakistani army.