What is Operation Whitewash?
Operation Whitewash is a conspiracy theory believed by the Pakistani army that involves the use of KALI weapon by the Indian Army to meltdown ice of Mountain which caused avalanches near the Gayari sector of Siachen. Due to this avalanche, 129 Pakistani soldiers along with 11 civilians were reported dead.
The Pakistani newspaper showed a report of Pakistan mythological department that for this incident India used a very high carbon material weapon due to which solar radiation was increased and ice started melting and avalanche occurred. But till today there is no strong proof of Indian involvement in this incident.
Although the Indian Army does not wish to share any information with the public domain regarding this mission. But there is still some strong evidence which shows the use of KALI weapon against the Pakistani army. It is said that the Indian Army has already developed KALI weapon a few years ago but they have only used it for industrial purpose. Due to heavy success of the KALI weapon Indian Army also wanted to use it as a military weapon but for this, they were not getting clearance from the R&AW.
KALI’s first public appearance
This weapon was first used in 2009 for removing snow near Jawahar Tunnel in Kashmir. At that time some tensions were going near the border so Border Road Organisation-BRO was asked to remove the snow quickly. Due to heavy snow BRO was unable to do it very fast so they ask the help of DRDO and DRDO sent their LASTEC (Laser science and technology Centre) team to Kashmir. That was the time when a senior field officer of R&AW seen KALI.
The R&AW officer saw that there was a big artillery gun installed on Tetra vehicle which was used to remove the snow very quickly. That gun used the laser ray to remove snow by creating small avalanches on the ice near the Tunnel.
Idea of using KALI as a weapon
The R&AW officer was so excited to know about that technology. When he asked an officer of DRDO about that system then he decided to share this information with his higher officials. This information was soon brought to R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi. Later R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi ordered to bring this technique to R&AW headquarter in Delhi. Then a meeting was called to discuss this technique and use it as a weapon. Some of the officials were not so satisfied with this weapon so this machine was rejected to use as a weapon.
But Sanjeev Tripathi was interested in this machine so he called that R&AW officer and ordered him to conduct some research with LASTEC and SAS (Snow Avalanche Study) for a few months and again called for this meeting with a detailed presentation. This time all R&AW officers were impressed by its capability.
After the clearance from R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi, this technique was brought forward to NSA M.K Narayanan. M.K Narayanan was a very close friend to R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi so he promised Sanjeev Tripathi that he will discuss this matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. After few days NSA M.K Narayanan brought a discussion with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the project was approved. Manmohan Singh advised M.K Narayanan to lead this project and hence appointed him head of this project.
Project start and challenges
This project was started in 2012 and a team was made which consists of members of RAW, DRDO’s LASTEC, Indian Air force, and Indian Army. The team was taken to Indian Army base in Siachen at 20,000 feet. This post was close enough to Northern light infantry headquarter of Pakistan army. Now hit point was selected from the map and with the intention to bury the entire area of Pakistani post under the snow. The selection of Trigger points and entire project planning was done but this real problem was to bring the KALI system to the post which was at 20,000 feet.
Moreover, a powerful generator was also needed to power this heavy Kali gun. There was also a fear of Avalanche at weapon location due to vibration of this gun which could have also killed Indian scientists and army officers present near Kali weapon. So not taking the chance of any Indian casualty NSA M.K Narayanan decided to use this weapon from an air platform. So two giant plane il-76 of the Indian Army was used for this mission.
Using Kali weapon from the air platform had already lowered the risk of bringing the weapon at 20,000 feet high without the knowledge of the Pakistani army. So according to plan il-76 planes were landed at Cuttack airbase where Kali 5000 was mounted on those planes. This Kali weapon was 5 times more powerful than the Kali 1000 gun which was used near Jawahar Tunnel. Further, a team was already deployed in Siachen post to look after the movement of the Pakistani army.
Now, these two planes were brought to the forward location of Sarsawa Air Force Station. Garud Commandos of Indian Air Force was given the responsibility to protect this plane day and night.
On 7 April 2012 at 12 p.m. this operation was planned to accomplish. The afternoon time was chosen because avalanches in this region always occur at noon because of the heat of the Sun which melts ice from high mountains.
But there were also some problems regarding the launch of this weapon from the air platform. The problems like polarization and high Precision shooting from a cold and Shadow climate was highly risky. For solving this problem BARC- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre was taken into a consultant. The scientist of BARC suggested launching this operation during morning or evening time when the sun was lower and the view was a bit clearer than the afternoon time. Due to this suggestion, the time of this operation was changed from 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.
So in the morning of 7 April 2012 8 fighter jets of Indian Army – 6 Mirage and 2 Sukhoi Su-30MKI took the flight and started to scan the area where the weapon will be positioned. Then both il-76 planes carrying Kali took flight from Sarsawa Air Force Station along with an Airbak plane- airborne warning and control system plane and il-78 refuelling plane of Indian Air Force.
The Target Point was already selected from satellite data reception centre and 3D Terrain visualization centre and marked by SAS scientist. A few days ago these targets were also approved by NSA M.K Narayanan.
The most important day: Operation Whitewash
So in the early morning of 7 April, 2012 KALI gun started shooting at the Target Point from 30 thousand feet and later a sound was also heard at 5:40 a.m. This sound was of Avalanche which had already started near the post of Pakistan Northern light infantry headquarter. This sound was also heard by the Pakistani army and they quickly reacted and alerted their team.
Even after the Alert, the Pakistani army was unable to save themselves from this Avalanche which was coming at a speed of 3000 kilometers per hour. This Avalanche was so big that thousands of tons of snow buried the whole Pakistani headquarter under 80-90 feet of snow within 10 to 15 minutes.
Around 124 soldiers of the Pakistani army and 11 civilians were killed on spot due to this avalanche. Further, the number of Dead soldiers increased to 129. The Pakistani army officers said that there were 80 feet deep snow over the Northern Infantry headquarters and it was even so difficult to remove it even from big snow machines.
The Indian Army officials and DRDO scientists were horrified to see the disaster done by KALI. They decided to use this weapon only in rare instances. There was no information given by the Indian Army to any media platform regarding this operation. They also decided to keep this weapon a secret to save its technology from other countries.
Hence Operation Whitewash was a very big destruction for the Pakistani army and it took them almost a month to recover the bodies of their dead soldiers. After the successful operation of this heavy weapon, Indian Army and DRDO developed the light version of Kali which could be easily used by the Indian Army at any front and by any platform.