On the 22nd of August 2023, Dainik Jagran published a report claiming that the Indian Army – SF Commandos – crossed over to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and conducted another surgical strike, neutralising 8 terrorists and several launch pads. According to the report, several SF Commandos crossed over to the Kolti and destroyed 4 terror launchpads, killing at least 7 or 8 terrorists. The Jagran report said that this operation was conducted on Saturday night.
The Defence Ministry in a statement has however refuted the report which claimed that SF Commandos crossed over to PoK (essentially, crossed the Line of Control) and neutralised terror launchpads. Sources in the Defence Ministry said that while there was no ‘Surgical Strike’ which was conducted, India did foil an infiltration bid by Pakistan.
According to Defence Ministry, there was a heavily backed group of terrorists attempting to infiltrate India from the Balakote Sector of Jammu and Kashmir. It is said that on Monday morning, two terrorists were detected by alert troops to be making attempts to cross the LoC onto the Indian side, “making use of inclement weather, dense fog, thick foliage, and undulating ground in Hamirpur area of Balakote Sector.”
“Intelligence Inputs received from Multiple Intelligence agencies and Jammu and Kashmir Police revealed the presence of terrorists waiting to cross the LC from opposite own Balakote Sector. Based on these inputs own surveillance grid was placed on heightened alert and multiple ambushes were sited at suitable locations,” the ministry’s statement read.
When the terrorists tried to infiltrate, the Indian Army engaged them in heavy fire, forcing them to retreat, making use of the weather conditions. “However effective fire resulted in one terrorist falling down on the ground near the LC. Additional troops were then moved into the area and search operations commenced in the afternoon after improvement of weather conditions and visibility,” it said.
During the ground search, the statement said that an AK-47 was recovered, along with Pakistan-made medicines, two magazines and 30 live rounds along with two grenades. Interestingly, a blood trail was also found during the search.
Given the blood trail and the fact that one terrorist had fallen down after a retaliatory fire, it is likely that at least one of the terrorists died during the firing by Indian Army.