#Viral Fact Check

Congress and Surgical Strikes – Really?

Congress Surgical Strikes Lies


Congress has claimed to conduct multiple ‘surgical strikes’ when it was in power. Their claims are contradictory as this article goes on to explain.

But the most incisive expose of the Congress’s claims was done by the then army chief General V K Singh when he tweeted on May 4. General V K Singh was the COAS from 2010 to 2012, the UPA era. One of the dates on which Congress claims to have conducted the strikes was when General Singh was COAS.

Did the Congress conduct surgical strike even without the knowledge of the army itself? Here is what General V K Singh has to say.

It should be noted that General Bikram Singh who was COAS from 2012 to 2014, had clarified in a television interview in 2016 that the surgical strikes such as the ones conducted under Modi government were not conducted before and such claims are only in the nature of hearsay.

It is important to note here that four of the occasions when Congress claimed to have conducted surgical strikes fall in General Bikram Singh’s tenure.

So, when did the Congress conduct the strikes? And did these strikes happen without the knowledge of the army?

Here is the video of that ‘India Today’ interview of General Bikram Singh.

Another respected voice from the army, General Ved Prakash Malik, who has been COAS, although not during the UPA era, has also said that he can’t think of any such strikes before.

Now, read on…

In a previous article, we factchecked the claim of Congress Party whether it has ever conducted a surgical strike or not. However, on Twitter, we came across two threads by Aashish Chandorkar and Ankur Singh which busted the claims of Congress about the surgical strikes. We have documented their threads with some of our inputs.

In the first part of this piece, we are bringing to readers the different number of surgical strikes claimed by Congress leaders. Not only the Congress leaders but even other opposition leaders have joined chorus with Congress in claiming a number of surgical strikes happened during UPA governments.

In the second part, readers will come to know on the dates when Congress claimed to have done surgical strikes, what had actually transpired on ground? These dates had been revealed by the Congress in a recent press conference.

Part I Different Claims by Congress Leaders on Surgical Strikes

Mar 02, 2019 – Rajiv Shukla claimed Congress had carried out 6 surgical strikes in its tenure.

On the same day that Rajiv Shukla claimed 6 surgical strikes, Rahul Gandhi told India Today that 3 surgical strikes happened under UPA.

March 2019 – Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot talked about Congress government having carried out 15 surgical strikes.

October 2016Mani Shankar Aiyar, in an article, says 4 surgical strikes were carried out by the UPA in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

In the same month of 2016, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a press conference said that Congress carried out 3 surgical strikes.

March 2019 – KCR, currently CM of Telangana, said that 11 surgical strikes were carried out in just the tenure of UPA-1. He was a minister in the UPA government for a while.

April 2019Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath did not give the exact number of surgical strikes, but said that the biggest surgical strike happened during UPA.

February 2017 – Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde claimed that three surgical strikes were carried out by UPA.

April 2019AK Antony, India’s Defence Minister from 2006 to 2014, said there were 3 surgical strikes during his tenure.

October 2016Sharad Pawar, a trusted UPA ally, had quoted a number of 4 surgical strikes.

March 2019 – There was a claim of 10-12 surgical strikes during UPA made by ex-Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah.

March 2019Govind Singh, minister in the Kamal Nath government in MP, made a claim of 25-30 surgical strikes during the UPA government.

Part II Congress claimed surgical strikes on 6 occasions, but what has happened in reality?

In a press conference on May 02, 2019, Rajiv Shukla, the Congress leader not only claimed the 6 surgical strikes but also revealed the dates and location of those strikes.

Here are the screenshots of the news articles on or around those dates.

1. They claimed that the first surgical strike took place on 19 June, 2008 at the Bhattal sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch. But, what had actually happened? India and Pakistan were to meet about an anti-terror mechanism on June 24, 2008. If there was a surgical strike, how could any sort of meet have been possible?

2. The second, they claimed, occurred on 30 August to 1 September, 2011 at Sharda sector in Kel. This (pasted below) is what happened in reality, as reported by Dawn, the Pakistani paper.

3. The third strike, as claimed by the Congress, took place on 6 January, 2013 at the Sawan Patra check post. In fact, around the time Congress claims to have carried out a surgical strike, Pakistani troops crossed into Indian territory on January 08, 2013 and slit throat of two jawans after ambushing them.

4. The fourth took place, they said, on 27 to 28 July, 2013 at Nazapir sector. On this day, Pakistani troops had violated ceasefire. India started firing on LoC killing one Pakistan soldier.

5. Congress claimed fifth strike to have taken place at Neelam Valley on 6 August, 2013. The day, when Congress claimed to have done a surgical strike, 5 of Indian soldiers were killed. And, two Pakistani soldiers were only wounded.

6. The sixth surgical strike under the UPA regime took place on 14 January, 2014, they said. This is very interesting. The day, Congress claims to have done a surgical strike, Indian and Pakistan troops were swapping gifts across the LoC. So, was this the surgical strike that Congress was talking about?