'We have a right to take action against terror bases,' said General Rawat
General Rawat had taken over as the 27th
Army chief last weekOn September 29, he had monitored the surgical strikes real time
New Delhi: New Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said India has a right to take action against terror bases across the Line of Control and the army will not shy off from conducting more surgical strikes if needed.
The surgical strikes, said General Rawat, who had taken over as the 27th Army chief last week, were meant to "send out a message". "If there are terrorist bases across and if they continue to disrupt the situation on our side of the LoC, then we have a right to take action against the terrorists, who are being supported from across by the adversary," he added.
The surgical strikes of September 29 were very "well planned," said General Rawat, who, as the Vice-Chief of Army Staff, had personally monitored the operation. "Extensive preparation was carried out and then it was executed," he said. The plans were kept on a need to know basis to ensure safety of the troops and the strike was being monitored "real time".
The strikes against the terror camps had started at midnight, with the troops moving across the Line of Control to target seven launchpads, where terrorists had been placed, ready to infiltrate into India and carry out attacks on different metros. Going at least 2 km across the Line of Control, they had targeted the camps killing a huge number of terrorists and their guides, and returned before sunrise. Besides being monitored real time, the operation, sources had said, was also recorded on cameras mounted on drones.
"The credit for this goes to my predecessor who had planned these operations very well, the northern Army commander and troops on the ground," said the General, who, government sources had said, was picked for the top job superceding two senior officers for his edge in operational experience.
The appointment, a first such decision in 35 years, was vehemently questioned by the opposition and a section of the defence establishment. As the Congress and the Left Front questioned the selection, the BJP has slammed their stance, calling it "politicising" of a key army appointment.
Today, General Rawat said a government decision cannot be "influenced by individuals". "If it were that easy, everybody would be running up behind the government and getting themselves appointed to places they wish".
As for the two seniors, Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who headed the Eastern Command and Southern Command Chief PM Hariz, he said, "We have broken bread a number of times, we have grown up together so I think we understand each other."