17 years since Pokhran-II

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Bengaluru, May 11: Monday marked the 17th anniversary of the Pokhran-II, a series of five nuclear bomb explosions carried by India at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range in Pokhran in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan.

It was the second nuclear test conducted by India, the first being Smiling Buddha, which was conducted in the same place in May 1974 and is called Pokhran-I.


Pokhran-II consisted of one fusion bomb and four fission bombs. It was codenamed Operation Shakti. It was conducted when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government was in power at the Centre. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister of the country during Pokhran-II. Vajpayee had declared India to be a full-fledged nuclear state after the tests.

The NDA government had said that the nuclear tests were in the interests of India's security and sovereignty.

The nuclear tests, however, earned India sanctions from various countries, including Japan and the United States. The United Nations, China and Canada also criticised India's tests.

Former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was one of the chief coordinators of the project.

Pakistan, too, conducted its own nuclear tests in May 1998 (Chagai-I and Chagai-II).

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