Universities to Celebrate September 29 as 'Surgical Strike Day'

PTI
The nation is celebrating two years of Indian Army's surgical strike operation against Pakistan that was carried out on September 29, 2016.

Kolkata, Sep 21: The UGC direction to universities to mark September 29 as "Surgical Strike Day" is a part of the BJP's "agenda" and educational institutes in West Bengal will not celebrate the day, state minister Partha Chatterjee said Friday. The education minister criticised the BJP-led central government for trying to "malign and politicise" the Army.

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On September 29 in 2016, the Indian Army carried out "surgical strikes" on seven terrorist launchpads across the LoC as a response to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month. The Indian Army had said its special forces inflicted "significant casualties" on terrorists waiting there to cross onto the Indian territory.

"This is an agenda of the BJP and it is trying to push this agenda by using the UGC ahead of elections. It is a matter of shame that they are using the UGC to achieve their political agenda," Chatterjee said.

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Talk sessions by ex-servicemen about sacrifices by the armed forces, special parades by NCC and visit exhibitions are among the prescribed events by the University Grants Commission for the celebration.

Chatterjee said, "We would have understood it had they asked us to observe the day in the name of sacrifices made by our soldiers. We have full respect for our soldiers and their sacrifices."

"The Indian Army has always been kept above politics and controversies. But now we are seeing that the BJP is trying to malign and politicise the Indian Army. This is not right and we won't support it," he said.