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Rediff.com  » News » Army will 'pay back in kind' for soldiers' killings at right time

Army will 'pay back in kind' for soldiers' killings at right time

January 10, 2013 12:16 IST
The Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, conveyed a very tough message to his Pakistani counterpart on Wednesday when they spoke for the second time in 48 hours, reports RS Chauhan

The Indian Army has decided to play it cool.

Despite the grave provocation by Pakistan in killing two soldiers and beheading one of them, the Army will not respond in anger, senior commanders have said.

Instead, they will wait for an appropriate time and place to 'pay back' in kind, highly placed sources say.

The Director General of Military Operations, Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, too conveyed a very tough message to his Pakistani counterpart on Wednesday when they spoke for the second time in 48 hours. The DGMO is reported to have warned of severe consequences in case of a repeat incident of the kind witnessed at Mendhar on Tuesday.

New Delhi has also told Islamabad that the mutilation of the bodies of soldiers is against the established rules of engagement of any professional Army.
  
The Army has also pieced together the grim details of the audacious attack on Indian territory. 

Army sources said a seven-member patrol of the Indian Army was moving near Mendhar, about 220 km north of Jammu, in thick fog at 11 am in an "area domination exercise". The patrol was ahead of the fence along the Line of Control but well within Indian territory.

Lance Naik Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh were the scouts or the advance surveillance team.

Local commanders say a Pakistani commando team may have been waiting in ambush well inside the Indian territory. When they spotted Lance Naik Sudhakar and Lance Naik Hemraj ahead of the rest of the party, the Pakistani side opened fire. The Indian patrol too responded with small arms fire but Sudhakar and Hemraj were killed in the initial phase of the 30-minute gun battle. Later their bodies were found, one of the heads missing and visible signs of torture on the other.

The Northern Command believes that Pakistan's 29 Baloch Regiment, posted across the LoC in the Mendhar sector, led the attack and that troops from the elite Special Services Group killed the Indian soldiers.

The Pakistani military has expectedly refused to acknowledge that such an incident happened and has instead accused India of spreading "negative propaganda". 

Pakistan too has accused Indian troops of crossing the Line of Control on Sunday (January 6) and raiding one of its army posts. It says a Pakistani soldier was killed in the firing. India has denied the accusations. 

Pakistan alleges that Indian troops crossed the LoC into the Haji Pir Pass sector -- that stands across India's Rampur sector -- killing one Pakistani soldier. The Haji Pir pass was returned to Pakistan after the 1965 India-Pakistan war. 

India maintains that it had not crossed the LoC but had retaliated after being fired upon by Pakistani soldiers without any provocation.

Officially India and Pakistan have been observing a ceasefire since November 2003. It has largely held firm except for the exchange of small arms and mortar fire. But of late, there have been increased instances of violation from the Pakistani side.

There were 117 ceasefire violations in 2012 as against 60 in 2011 and only 57 in 2010. Top Indian Army officials say that in December 2012 alone there has been as many as 10 cases of ceasefire violations along the LoC and four infiltration attempts by terrorists. Fourteen terrorists were killed by the Indian Army in December alone.

RS Chauhan in New Delhi