When a huge avalanche hit the world’s highest battleground, trapping 140 Pakistani soldiers and civilian contractors under deep snow, some accused India by saying that it was not a natural avalanche but a Laser Beam Experiment done by India. According to them, India was experimenting with laser technology for a long time to bring avalanches, and this time India become successful. While some others said because of heavy deposits of carbon on glaciated ice and increased absorption of solar radiation an unexpected avalanche happened.
A Laser Beam Experiment of R&AW and DRDO or a conspiracy theory known by codename Operation whitewash which involves the use of the Indian KALI project to melt down the sloping ice to bring avalanches; What was Operation Whitewash? was it a Joint operation of DRDO and R&AW? or something else, learn in this article.
Gayari Sector Avalanche
On the morning of 7 April 2012, a huge avalanche hit a Pakistani military base in Gayari Sector near the Siachen Glacier region, trapping 140 soldiers and civilian contractors under deep snow. Siachen Glacier region is the world’s highest battleground. On 29 May 2012, the Pakistani military declared that 129 soldiers martyred and 11 civilians were killed, however according to unofficial data 130 Pakistani soldiers were martyred. This was the worst avalanche the Pakistani army had ever experienced.
This event soon become the top headline in the Pakistani media, and some news channels accused India by saying that it was not a natural avalanche but a Laser Beam Experiment done by India. According to them, India was experimenting with laser technology for a long time to bring avalanches, and this time India become successful. While some others said, “heavy deposits of carbon on glaciated ice and increased absorption of solar radiation is believed to be the main cause of unexpected avalanche in the Gayari sector of Siachen area”.
According to Pakistan Meteorological Department data, trans-boundary pollution in the Siachen area caused heavy coats of carbon on glacier ice that triggered the rise of temperature, and due to more absorption of Solar Radiation in the Gayari sector glacier ice melted and caused an Avalanche.
However, there were no Indian troops within 15 km of either the avalanche site or the avalanche source basin, and no part of the Siachen Glacier itself is within 30 km of the avalanche site, separated from the Siachen system by the 5000 to 7500-meter high Saltoro Ridge.
A non-governmental organization study revealed poor waste collection by Indian armed forces, almost entirely located in the Siachen Glacier basin, who produce 1000 kilograms of waste a day that is packed in drums, These drums of waste are thrown in crevasses(a deep open crack, especially one in a glacier), at the rate of about 4000 drums a year. However, the avalanche site is 15 km west of any part of the Siachen basin, near the Gayari River just below the Bilafond La, neither of which flow from or connect with the Siachen Glacier system.
Know more about Gayari Sector avalanche – Wikipedia contributors. (2019, November 11). 2012 Gayari Sector avalanche. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:36, January 13, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2012_Gayari_Sector_avalanche&oldid=925631583
What was Operation Whitewash?
According to some unofficial sources and Intel, Operation Whitewash was a Laser Beam Experiment of R&AW and DRDO, Jointly conducted by DRDO and R&AW. It was a highly confidential operation known by the codename “Operation whitewash” which involves the use of the Indian KALI project to melt the sloping ice to cause avalanches that look natural.
However, there are no strong sources available for this operation, and Indian officials do not want to open the details of this mission to the public domain that’s why it is considered a conspiracy theory.
- DRDO: Defense Research and Development Organization. It is an agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development in the Ministry of Defence of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in Delhi, India.
- R&AW: Research and Analysis Wing. It is the foreign intelligence agency of India. The agency’s primary function is gathering foreign intelligence, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, advising Indian policymakers, and advancing India’s foreign strategic interests, headquartered in Delhi, India.
- KALI: The KALI means Kilo Ampere Linear Injector. It is a linear electron accelerator being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). It is a Directed-energy weapon designed to work in such a way that if an enemy missile is launched towards India, it will quickly emit powerful pulses of Relativistic electron beam and destroy the target thoroughly and also damages the on-board electronic systems. According to unofficial sources it is supposedly already operational from a hidden location or was tested in the Operation Whitewash, but officially it has not been battle-tested yet due to lack of such situations that would force India to publicly acknowledge its operational existence. However on 14 July 2018 Parliament asked to government whether there is any proposal to induct KALI 5000 in the armed forces, then former Defence Minister of India Manohar Parrikar replied in written to the Lok Sabha that, “The desired information is sensitive in nature and its disclosure is not in the interest of national security” Government also refused to give any information of testing KALI laser weapon.
Operation Whitewash Storyline
Snowfall over the Jawahar Tunnel, Kashmir
In 2009, Jawahar Tunnel was closed due to heavy snowfall over the Tunnel. This tunnel connects the Kashmir valley to the rest parts of India. To ensure no accident, the Border Roads Organization(BRO) is tasked to clear the snow as soon as possible. To make work fast, DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Center(LASTEC) was also called.
A Senior R&AW field officer
When BRO and LASTEC were removing the snow together, a senior R&AW field officer was also present there. He saw that the LASTEC’s tetra vehicles were being used to clear the snow and behind that vehicle a giant artillery gun was installed which has a marking with capital letters “KALI” means Kilo Ampere Linear Injector. The Gun was connected to the cabin through various cables and a heavy electric generator set was pumping power to the cabin, and the cabin supplying controlled power to the artillery gun.
When the officer saw the KALI, he became so excited, as he has seen such a device for the first time in his life. The R&AW officer started talking to LASTEC scientists to find more info about KALI. The LASTEC scientist told the officer that the artillery gun-like device on which KALI is written is a Laser Gun that will be used to remove snow from the tunnel by bringing small avalanches on the ice.
When he inquired, he was told that the gun is actually a laser gun and they were targeting snow areas to trigger small avalanches so that larger and deadly avalanches can be prevented. After knowing the KALI Laser Gun and the process of removing snow, the R&AW officer was surprised and started wondering, can we use this technology to kill enemies in the war field, if it can bring small avalanches it can bring big avalanches too.
He come to Delhi from Kashmir and discussed this technology with his seniors and tell them that they can use this technology in the war field. Initially, his idea was ignored as useless but he never stopped and after researching more in-depth about the technology with LASTEC and Snow Avalanche Study Establishment(SASE), he prepared a detailed presentation and forwarded it to the former R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi.
Former NSA M.K. Narayanan and former R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi
Sanjeev Tripathi considered this technology and discussed it with the former National Security Advisor of India M.K. Narayanan, at that time NSA M.K. Narayanan and R&AW Chief Sanjeev Tripathi were very good friends, so it did not take much time for Sanjeev Tripathi to convince the NSA. NSA discussed this with the former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.
Prime Minister wanted to know any political and diplomatic consequences because it was a ceasefire scenario all along LoC and AGPL, and for many reasons, he didn’t want India being blamed for any war violation. After several days of hard work, NSA M.K. Narayanan succeed to convince the Prime Minister, and the project was approved, and NSA MK Narayanan was appointed as the head of the project. It was a highly classified mission, so it wasn’t shared with anyone except whom R&AW thinks appropriate.
Start of the Project “Operation Whitewash”
After the approval, the project team was selected from R&AW, DRDO’s LASTEC, Indian Army and Indian Airforce, and the project was named Operation Whitewash; at the same time, R&AW and SAS officers visited the 20000ft Indian Army base in Siachen from where the Northern Light Infantry Head Quarters of the Pakistan Army is clearly visible. Mostly scientists of this project were from south India, who had never even seen 1000ft but were sent to observation post at 20000ft.
The scientist at SAS selected such trigger points by mapping the entire area so that after the experiment the entire area should buried under snow and Pakistan does not get any evidence. Selecting trigger points and the planning of the entire project was done on paper, but LASTEC scientists had some challenges. The first challenge was to move a KALI gun with more than 10 tons and a generator to power it 20000ft up in Siachen. And secondly, if KALI was used on the ground, its vibrations and sound could cause the snow surrounding it to collapse and all the officers and scientists present near KALI can be killed.
Therefore, it was decided that Kali will not be used on the ground but from the air platform and for which R&AW’s Aviation Research Wing(ARC), the Indian Army’s two giant planes Il-76 will be used. Both Il-76 planes were brought to the ARC’s airbase in the Cattuck where KALI 50000w laser weapon was mounted in those planes. This KALI 50000w laser weapon was several times more powerful than the KALI gun that R&AW’s officer saw at the Jawahar tunnel.
After placing KALI in both Il-76 planes, both planes were parked at the Sarsawa air force station, where Indian Air Force Garuda commandos were deployed to protect them. An observation team was already present at the Siachen Post of the Indian Army, who were given high altitude training.
The d-day for Operation Whitewash was chosen after everything was done as per the plan 7 April 2012 at 12:00 noon, the afternoon time is chosen for this operation because most of the natural Avalanche in Siachen arrives at noon, But because this operation was to be done from the air platform in the afternoon, technical problems like polarisation and high-precision shooting were coming up, which Bhabha Atomic Research Center vow to solve.
Scientists studied the project and suggested that this operation should be done in the morning or in the evening according to them, this was the only way for these technical problems. According to scientists of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center, all the people of the project change the time of operation to 4:00 in the morning. Now Operation whitewash was to be held on 7 April 2012 at 4:00 am.
Thus on the day of D-Day, both Il-76 planes equipped with KALI take flight from Saraswa Airbase and take their positions at the coordinates already scheduled in Siachen along with this, an airborne warning and control system of the Indian Air Force i.e. an Airbak plane and an Il-78 plane for refilling also take positions behind them.
6 Mirage fighter jets and two Sukhoi fighter jets had already started scanning the area around the il-76 plane from 2:00 am for any kind of situation during the operation. Here a team of scientists from SAS had marked trigger points after analyzing the data from satellite data reception center and 3D terrain visualization center.
All the scientists and officers of R&AW and NSA were coordinating among themselves and continuously reaching the progress of Project Progress and Information Project, NSA Mk Narayanan.
As early as four o’clock in the morning of April 7, the kali gun on the IL-76 plane starts laser shooting at 100% precision at trigger points from a height of 30,000ft sometime later at around 5:40 in the morning the observation team heard sounds of avalanche in Siachen, avalanche had started at Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry headquarters, which had a speed of 300km/hr.
Pakistan Army tried to alert its army personnel on seeing this avalanche but thousands of tons of snow falling at a speed of 300km/hr did not give them any chance. In about 10 to 15 minutes, the entire headquarter of the Pakistan Army were buried under 80 to 100 feet thick snow. It was a massive avalanche that not only had snapped the communication lines but also blasted away some outposts too, even DRDO scientists were also horrified to see this disastrous scene of KALI.
According to the Pakistani Army, 124 of his soldiers were killed in it, but according to the Indian Army, more than 130 soldiers of the Pakistani Army were killed in it. According to the Pakistan Army, a layer of 80 feet thick ice had accumulated above the Northern Light Infantry headquarters, which even the biggest digging machines cannot remove.
Since the success of Operation Whitewash, DRDO has developed a small compact model of KALI for the Indian Army, which the Indian Army can use in any war situation. Research and development is still going on KALI(Kilo Ampere Linear Injector) a linear electron accelerator by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
However on 14 July 2018 Parliament asked to government whether there is any proposal to induct KALI 5000 in the armed forces, then former Defence Minister of India Manohar Parrikar replied in written to the Lok Sabha that, “The desired information is sensitive in nature and its disclosure is not in the interest of national security” Government also refused to give any information of testing KALI laser weapon.
Gayari Sector avalanche was a major destruction for Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry headquarters in Siachen; that Pakistan will never forget. If Operation Whitewash is not a conspiracy, but a highly confidential and secret then operation then it was a great success for scientists and officers from DRDO, SAS, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, R&AW, and the Indian Military.
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This Article was Published On: 13 January, 2020 And Last Modified On: 31 March, 2021