Jammu: The General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of the northern command, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said on Monday that the first surgical strike by the Indian Army was carried out in September, 2016, following the Uri terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to the media at the Udhampur headquarters of the northern command, Lt General Singh said: "In reply to an RTI (Right to Information), the Director General of Military Operations has said that the first surgical strike was carried out by the Indian Army in September, 2016."
He said he would not go into the details of that surgical strike as he had just made a statement of facts while adding that Pakistan is continuing its anti-India policy including drug trafficking and infiltration.
"Terror camps in Pakistan are intact and we are keeping a vigil on them," he said.
He said the ceasefire is violated by Pakistan to push in militants, but the army's multi-tier security grid has been able to keep infiltration down.
He said as part of a strategy to make the Line of Control impregnable, new generation weapons are being deployed.
He said free and fair elections have been held in the hinterland and in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Since the beginning of this year we have killed 86 terrorists and arrested 20. A large number of youth have been brought back to lead a normal life through persuasion and help of families," he said.
Answering questions he said the Balakot air strike was laudable although Pakistani fighter jets later crossed the LoC but they were given a reply on the LoC itself and could not come into the Indian hinterland.
"We are ready to give a reply if a misadventure is planned," the top army officer said. He agreed that the local recruitment of youth into militancy is a matter of concern, but added that it is coming down.
He said, last year, 216 local youth had joined the militant ranks, but this year only 40 have so far been reported to have joined them.
He said the security forces are taking up different programmes and other steps to ensure that the local youth do not get waylaid by militants.