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June 10, 1999
Bodies of Indian soldiers disfigured, says army
The bodies of six Indian army personnel handed over yesterday were mutilated and disfigured, an army spokesman disclosed in New Delhi today while announcing that fierce fighting continued in Kargil sector in which 10 Pakistan army soldiers had been killed and 12 injured during the last 24 hours.
Bad weather severely restricted air attacks today and only a couple of recce missions were carried out, an air force spokesman said, adding that it might be a couple of days before further strikes are possible.
The army chief, Gen V P Malik visited Srinagar, Dras, Kargil and Partapur sectors today and was briefed on the latest situation and the progress of Operation Vijay by the local formation commanders. In the Batalik sector, the Indian army suffered three more casualties, taking the number of those killed to 66. Besides, 217 troops have been wounded while eight are missing.
The six bodies that were returned near Kargil yesterday were of personnel who had been counted among the missing. They had been missing since May 14 in Kaksar after an initial encounter with the Pakistan army. ''This is an outrageous act and a violation of international conventions. We would like to give voice to our anger at this stage because we would like to wait for the post-mortem reports'', Col Bikram Singh of the directorate general of military operations said at a briefing this evening.
Asked whether the six army personnel -- Lt Saurav Kalia and five jawans -- were tortured and whether India would take it up with Pakistan, an official spokesman said, ''The government is seized of the matter. We are awaiting the post-mortem report... The report that the bodies have been mutilated will cause a great deal of outrage and sadness''.
Col Bikram Singh said the post-mortem had been delayed because the plane taking the bodies from Kargil to Srinagar had to return to base because of bad weather. Efforts were being made to take the bodies from Leh to Delhi in a fixed wing aircraft, he added. He said only the detailed post-mortem would reveal if they had been tortured. The bodies had been identified by the commanding officer of the battalion the six belonged to.
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