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“Bandar Mara Gaya”: Two years of Balakot airstrike, know what happened that night

WebdeskFeb 26, 2021, 05:54 PM IST

“Bandar Mara Gaya”: Two years of Balakot airstrike, know what happened that night

Is it a coincidence or a long strategic vision of the Modi Government that just after one day of the peace agreement in which Pakistan agreed for peace and tranquillity on the border , India is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary of the “Balakot Air Strike”?   It was 3.45 am on 26 February 2019, the then Air Chief BS Dhanoa made a telephone call to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on a special RAX number( RAX is an ultra-secure fixed-line network) “ The Monkey has been killed” He said in Hindi “Bandar Mara Gaya”. This was the code line and the code name of this Operation was “ Operation Bandar”.   Balakot Strike was conducted by the seventh and ninth squadrons of the Indian Air Force at around 3.30 am on February 26, 2019. Indian Air Force used 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets and Su-30MKI to carry out the attack that flew from the Gwalior Air Force base.   The Mirage 2000 jet fighters, flying in three separate formations, flew over north and central India for hours before entering Pakistan. After a proper signal given by the command, they crossed the Line Of Control(LOC) and destroyed the JeM terror camp in Balakot. Mirage 2000 fighters released their Spice 2000 penetrator bombs which are packed with 90 kg explosives, the closest Pakistani aircraft was 150 kilometres away. IAF deliberately chose February 26 as the ‘D-day’ as it was the last quarter of the full moon; the fighters successfully evaded Pakistani radars by flying below the Pir Panjal ranges. According to the officials, all five bombs struck home at 3.30 am IST or 3.00 am Pakistani time. The sixth bomb-carrying optical guidance making did not fire due to a software snag. The only place left untouched in Balakot was the mosque, which had already started preparation of the Fajir ka namaz.   The massage is given by India Air Chief Dhanoa to NSA Doval “Bandar Mara Gaya” meant Jaish-e- Mohammad (JeM) training camp at Balakot in hinterland Pakistan has been taken down by Indian fighter jets in a daring pre-dawn Operation across the border. NSA Ajit Doval in turn informed the same to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India Air Chief BS Dhanoa Made a similar call to then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and secretary (Research and Analysis Wing) Anil Dhasmana.   It was the first assault carried out by India in Pakistan after the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Today is worldwide known “Balakot Air Strike” code-named “Operation Bander” completed its two years. Operation Balakot Air Strike was conducted in response to the deadly Pulwama attack that took the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.   The code name “Bandar” was deliberately chosen to confuse Pakistani intelligence. It was the targeted strike to destroy the JeM headquarter in Bhawalpur with the terror group’s ailing chief Masood Azhar living securely within the compound.   After the strike was completed, a cabinet meeting was called by PM Narendra Modi with all senior ministers, top PMO officials, Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Secretary (RAW), Director Intelligence Bureau and then Air Chief present. It was the first time during this kind of meeting PM Modi openly thanked Indian intelligence, particularly RAW for its actionable intelligence and the intrepid IAF chief for a daring operation. A beaming Finance Minister Arun Jaitley patted both the leaders on their backs and Doval shook hands with Dhanoa and Dhasmana.

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