September 29 To Be Observed As Surgical Strike Day; West Bengal Refuses

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Kolkata: The UGC has directed universities to observe September 29 as Surgical Strike Day. However, West Bengal state minister Partha Chatterjee calls the direction as ‘part of BJP agenda’, and therefore educational institutes in the state will not celebrate the day. The education minister also criticised the central government for politicising the army for its purposes.

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. “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”.

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