Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, speaking on the Uri terror attack in which 18 soldiers were killed, conceded today that “something may have gone wrong”. He also asserted that he would “take steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
“Obviously something must have been wrong…although I will not go into details of it. Obviously it’s a very sensitive matter. When something goes wrong, while you try to correct it you should also ensure it does not happen again. There are management principles to ensure that this happens. We will definitely find out what went wrong and also takes steps to ensure it doesn’t go wrong,” Mr Parrikar said in Delhi.
“I believe in zero error and in 100% perfection in my way of life. A nation should ensure this is not repeated again and again.”
Asked how India should respond to the latest strike by terrorists from Pakistan, the Defence Minister said: “I can’t go into the detail of what we are going to do. If needed, I can have a knee-jerk reaction…sometimes a knee-jerk reaction is needed, not saying this is one of those times…I don’t want to comment on the irrational uncontrolled statements that have been made.”
He added: “The PM’s initial words that those responsible for this will not go unpunished will not go just as mere statement. How to punish…we have to work out. We are quite serious about it.”
On Sunday, four terrorists sneaked into the 12th Brigade headquarter at Kashmir’s Uri near the Line of Control, threw grenades and opened fire, causing the most number of deaths the army has suffered in years.
Some soldiers had just woken up and were making their way to washrooms next to their tents when the terrorists attacked. Most of the soldier deaths took place there.
Investigators have found that the wire fencing around the base had been cut in two places and suspect that is where the terrorists sneaked in. The terrorists even walked about 150 metres into the camp unchallenged.
The National Investigation Agency is examining whether the perimeter of the camp was lit, as is standard operating procedure so close to the Line of Control.
Investigators also say there were two clear intelligence warnings about the terror strike, one specifically about a likely attack at this base, received three days before the attack.