It’s been almost a year since India conducted the surgical strike against Pakistan on September 29. So on the eve of its anniversary, NewsX brings you the exclusive inside details of surgical strikes narrated by Indian brave soldiers who gave Pakistan a befitting reply. The Indian Army soldiers in an exclusive interview to NewsX revealed the inside story of the surgical strike and how it actually went down, explaining how one of our brave soldiers had become a mine casualty as his legs were stuck in one of the mines. The soldiers also revealed when the operation was reported successful and how the strike team made it back to the base.

How IEDs were planted 

As it was decided earlier by the Army parties, IEDs and mines were planted in their return path. They had already explained the demolition expert where the mines needed to be planted so that they are not followed. So IEDs were planted on the path so that anyone could follow them. After some time, they heard several explosions behind them, IEDs were planted by the army to be safe so that no one can follow them, when they felt that someone can take this route to come and follow them. So in that manner, they remained protected and made sure maximum damage is inflicted on the enemy.

When the Special Forces were climbing, they heard several explosions behind them. There was a possibility that one of their patrolling groups were out or following them and an artillery shell might have fallen there. The teams made a speculation that the IEDs that they planted had exploded.

How they reported operation was successful

The two locations where the army carried out the operation, they had already deployed an anchor for the 19 Div team and their team commander and CO knew they had deployed an anchor there.

They had positioned an anchor where their 28 Div, another party, and the 19 Div was reporting and telling about the status of the men, the situation of the target. After that, the 19 Div team reported the operation was successful and the 28 Div team did the same. Telling about the whether they left any clue behind, they revealed that they didn’t leave any footprints.  In fact, they even carried back the remains of the grenade launchers. When they came to their area, they were stopped by the team commander where he gave a check on the soldiers to see if anyone was missing. 

Soldier injured in mine blast and how he was shifted to helicopter 

After the headcount completed, they started marching a little ahead where they heard another blast and they had to take cover. This was actually an infiltration route and they thought a militant might have crossed, and fire contact had begun again.

They later found that there was no contact but one of their own soldiers had become a mine casualty as His legs were stuck in one of the mines. They have selected that route before several times. It was an open route and they had gone in and out several times. All we can say that the soldier was in for bad luck because of which his leg got stuck in a mine.

The soldier whose leg got caught in the mine, his compatriot then passed on the message over the radio set and medical guys gathered around him. They took off his shoes and put Exostate over his wound to stop the bleeding. After that, he was given first aid, painkiller injection and also pain-killer pills to consume.

The Army had kept a reserve squad for such incidents so in case there is a casualty, to help them evacuate. But the squad was already ahead of them, so they just called one of them back. Since it was a mine area, they were afraid that if the entire squad were there, they might end up with more casualties. So, they just called for one man who came back with a stretcher. The Army then tried to carry the soldier on the stretcher but they weren’t successful because the slope was too steep. The other problem was that if they were to carry him on a stretcher, they require more manpower which was at least two boys. Since there was a risk then of more casualties, they distributed the battle load of the injured soldier amongst each of them and then carried him on their backs, one at a time. The road was so bad that they couldn’t walk even themselves easily and they had to carry him and move forward. All the soldiers coordinated very well and some of them were pulling him and shifting him if another got tired.

Just because they had an accident, their morale didn’t go down. In fact, it further motivated them as they were determined to carry the injured fellow soldier up safe and as soon as possible to get him medical aid. The team commander had already passed on this message. When they were 1-1.5 km short of their post, one team had already come down to relieve them and take away the injured. As soon as they reached the post, within 2-5 mins the helicopter came. The helicopter evacuated the soldier immediately. The rest of the team reached up and sat down to relax.

How they returned to base

The Army’s first team reached the bunker safely at approximately 10:30-11am. And the other groups were behind them in gaps. They were moving in small numbers, so no incident takes place. If they saw a big target, they could attack. They wouldn’t attack small targets, of a buddy or two.

On our way back, we reached the post around 10:30-11am. and we were being fired upon heavily. We could decipher voices and sounds….we figured they were firing in a general direction. But the foliage was so dense and the cover so thick, they couldn’t bring down the effective and accurate fire. Every team had 20-30 men, where one-third of each team’s strength consisted of officers and JCOs. Ideally, something like this never happens.