KOLKATA: Terming the University Grants Commission (UGC)'s circular to celebrate "Surgical Strike Day" on September 29 as "BJP's gimmick ahead of the elections", West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said educational institutions in the state will not celebrate the day.
The decision to celebrate the Surgical Strike Day was announced on Thursday when the UGC in a letter to all Vice Chancellors of the universities had asked them to hold special parades by the National Cadet Corps and pledge of support by students to the armed forces through letters and cards on September 29.
"It is a part of BJP's agenda before the 2019 elections which they are trying to push through UGC. The BJP is trying to politicise the Indian Army. It is a matter of shame and we do not support it," Chatterjee told the reporters here.
The Minister clarified that the state government has utmost respect for the country's soldiers and their sacrifices but it will not support any attempt by the saffron outfit to politicise the army.
On September 29 in 2016, the Indian Army carried out "surgical strikes" on seven terrorist launch pads across the LoC in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in response to an attack on its base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri earlier that month.
While Pakistan rejected that a strike took place, stating that Indian troops had not crossed the Line of Control but had only skirmished with Pakistani troops at the border, the Indian Army had said its special forces inflicted "significant casualties" on terrorists waiting there to cross onto the Indian territory.