Srinagar: Two moles in the Jaish-e-Mohammed, both Pakistani nationals cultivated and ‘turned’ by Indian intelligence agencies, helped confirm the final targets for India’s September 2016 surgical strikes on terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir . The Indian Army’s Special Forces teams were also in touch with two other PoK locals who provided crucial final human intelligence that paved the way for the operation that resulted in 38-40 terrorists being killed late at night on September 28.
The revelations are part of a new Army-endorsed book ‘India’s Most Fearless’, that features the first ever interview with the Para (Special Forces) Major who led one of the teams across LoC in a revenge raid 10 days after the Uri attack.
The book features 14 tales of modern military valour, including the Indian Army’s crossborder strike in Myanmar in 2015 and the rescue of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who made headlines in February 2016 for surviving six days under an avalanche in Siachen. “Through masked communications, we contacted four assets across LoC – two local villagers in PoK and two Jaish operatives who had been turned by Indian agencies,” says the Major, identified in the book by his temporary radio name during the operation ‘Mike Tango’.
In the book, the Army Major speaks at length about the planning stages, the journey into PoK and the tense atmosphere in which they arrived at their targets.
“This was meant to be a total surprise action. And it was. But as we neared our targets, the Pakistan Army posts began firing illumination rounds to light up the area. If they even smelt us, we would have had a fight on our hands. And their positions meant they could dominate us,” the book quotes the Major as saying.
“Furious by the attack, the Pakistan Army posts opened fire with everything they had. Medium machine gun artillery and rocket-propelled grenades rained around us. At one point, the bullets were so close that they were whistling past our ears,” recalls the Major in the book.