New Delhi: Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Devraj Anbu has said that the security forces would not hesitate to launch another surgical strike against terrorists if the need to do so arises. He made this statement on the sidelines of the Indian Military Academy’s (IMA) Passing Out Parade (POP) in Dehradun. Also Read - Kiwis Depart For England For WTC Final vs India, Tests vs Hosts

Talking to reporters, Anbu said, “The surgical strike on militant launchpads across the border was a show of strength by our armed forces and we won’t hesitate to do it again if the enemy challenges us.” Also Read - Bhuvneshwar Kumar Rubbishes Reports About Not Willing To Play Tests

Notably, India conducted the surgical strike on September 29, 2016, across the Line of Control as a response to a terrorist attack on an Indian Army base in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir earlier that month. Nineteen Indian soldiers died in the attack by Pakistan-backed terrorists. Also Read - Fans Blast Australia Skipper Tim Paine For India ‘Sideshow’ Comments

On Friday, Lt Gen (retd) D S Hooda, who was the Northern Army commander when the surgical strikes were carried out, said the constant hype around the precision operation was unwarranted. He, however, said it was natural to have initial euphoria over the success of the military action.

Responding to a question from the audience during a panel discussion in Chandigarh, Lt Gen Hooda said, “It would have been better had “we done it (surgical strikes) secretly”.

In September, Union minister Rajnath Singh had indicated at yet another surgical strike-like operation on the terror launch pads across the border to avenge the killing of BSF jawan, Narendra Singh, by the Pakistani troops. He had also slammed Pakistan saying that the neighbouring country keeps fostering unrest and doesn’t refrain from its wicked activities.

Even though Singh had hinted at another Army operation, he didn’t elaborate leaving people guessing if another surgical strike had happened.

While speaking on the plans to give women combat roles in the armed forces, Lt Gen Anbu said that different aspects of the proposition are being examined as conditions along the borders with Pakistan and China are different from the rest of the country.

In July this year, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said the process to allow women in a combat role, currently, an exclusive domain of men, is moving fast and initially, women will be recruited for positions in the military police.

In November, he said the Indian Army is not yet ready to have women in combat roles. He said there are several other fields where the Army was thinking of inducting women and there were plans to have women as interpreters.

Lt Gen Anbu was in Dehradun to address the POP at IMA as the reviewing officer.

The POP saw a total of 427 gentlemen cadets including 80 from seven friendly foreign countries graduating from the academy.

(With PTI inputs)