India Should Form Its Own Fidayeen, Says Ex-Army Chief


New Delhi: India should form its own “fidayeen” (suicide) squad, former army chief Shankar Roy Choudhury said on Sunday, reflecting the rage in the military brass over an extremist attack in north Kashmir’s Uri that killed 17 soldiers.

The militant strike was the worst single attack on the army in 26 years and sources said security forces hadn’t experienced so many casualties since militancy first broke out in the Valley in the 1990s.

The attack sparked anger from former army personnel with many calling for retaliatory action on extremists.

Roychowdhury is one of India’s best-known army generals and highly decorated war hero who fought the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the 1971 Bangladesh independence war.

Former home secretary RK Singh told news agency ANI that the attack was planned by the Pakistani army and state-sponsored elements.

Former army major Gaurav Arya called for stringent action against Pakistan, who he held responsible for the attack. “Pakistan keeps doing it again and again. We must take immediate action. Downgrade relation with Pakistan. Stop trade. Show the world we are serious,” he said.

Another army veteran, lieutenant general Raj Kadyan, said that it was a clear attack by Pakistan on India. “All soft options are closed. They are not going to act. Strongest retaliatory strike by Indian army. We must raise issue at UN general assembly, ask for sanctions.”


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