Surgical strikes were a 'huge morale booster' for forces, says Minister

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) The cross-LoC surgical strikes were a "huge morale booster" for the Indian armed forces, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said on Friday, though he added that no specific assessment on the morale of soldiers has been carried out post the September 29 strikes.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on whether any survey of the psychological condition or morale of forces was done after the surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads, the Minister said: "No specific assessment of psychological conditions/morale of defence personnel has been carried out post surgical strikes."

"Notwithstanding this, surgical strikes by themselves were a huge morale booster for the rank and file of the Armed Forces," he said.

The Minister also said that assessment of the morale of the troops, units and formations is an "important command function".

"It is a continuous process, which is monitored regularly by Commanders in Chain."

Responding to supplementary questions in the Lok Sabha, Bhamre said "significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them" in the surgical strikes.

Asked whether the government would be giving any special rewards, promotion or salary hike to the soldiers who went for the surgical strikes, the Minister said: "As per the Standard Operating Procedure, these people are given the due regard."

"We have focused on ensuring that these terrorists do not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizen," he added.

The surgical strikes were carried out by Indian forces in the backdrop of the September 18 terror attack on an army camp in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed.

On September 29, Indian troops went across the LoC and destroyed terror launch pads.