New Delhi: Indian Army had conducted surgical strikes in Pakistan's territory but still doubts were raised by some politicians including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
Now, the doubts have been put to rest to some extent after a report by The Indian Express claimed that eyewitnesses from across the LoC have confirmed brief but intense firing during India's surgical strikes of September 29.
Here's what the eyewitnesses saw:-
1- Eyewitnesses confirmed that the bodies of those killed in Indian Army's surgical strikes were loaded onto trucks for secret burial
2- The eyewitnesses saw a gutted building across the Al-Haawi bridge from the Dudhnial's main bazaar, where a military outpost and a compound used by the Lashkar were both sited. Dudhnial is a small hamlet around four kilometers from the Line of Control (LoC).
Al-Haawi bridge is reportedly the last point where infiltrating groups are loaded with supplies before beginning their climb up to the LoC towards Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir.
3- Eyewitnesses also said they heard a loud explosion but they did not come out to see what was going on
4- Quoting local residents, the eyewitness said "three-four" Lashkar operatives were thought to have been killed, while others fled into the adjoining forests.
Though the eyewitness was unable to visit this area, he said he spoke to villagers who had seen a Lashkar-occupied, three-storied wooden building destroyed by Indian troops near the hamlet of Khairati Bagh, the report said.
5- Five to six bodies were loaded on to a truck early next morning. Possibly, the dead bodies were transported to the nearest major Lashkar camp at Chalhana, according to eyewitnesses
6- Fire and explosions were also heard from the east bank of the Neelum river in Athmuqam, the district headquarters of the region.
7- Another eyewitness says that the Friday prayers at a Lashkar-affiliated mosque in Chalhana ended with a cleric vowing to avenge the deaths of men killed the previous day
8- The Lashkar men also blamed the Pakistan Army for failing to defend the border, according to eyewitnesses
9- The number of casualties was lower than the figure of 38-50 attributed to officials is some reports
10- Leepa, a complex of some 25 hamlets located at the bottom of the Qazi Nag stream flowing down from the mountains above Naugam, on the Indian side of the LoC, was among the "launch-pads" targeted in the cross-LoC raids, one eyewitness said
The fighting, as per the report, appeared to have taken place near military camps along the Katha Nar stream that empties into the Neelum river just north of the town. A bustling town that serves as a hub for tourism and commerce, Athmuqam is also a major military hub.
NOTE: Details cited here in this report are in accordance with the claims made by The Indian Express