With no let up in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that India should "respond in kind" if these persist and BSF asked its men to retaliate strongly while Army said it is prepared to deal with any situation.
As Pakistani troops yet again shelled mortars and opened heavy fire overnight targeting 10 Border Out Posts along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh was suddenly called in by Defence Minister A K Antony to brief him about escalating ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
Two security personnel were injured in Monday’s incident. With the latest ceasefire violations by Pakistan, nearly 150 such incidents have been reported in 2013, the highest in the past 8 years, according to a defence spokesman.
"Obviously, this cannot be a one-sided affair. It cannot be a situation where we are at the receiving end and no response is given," a tough-talking Omar said.
The Centre should explore other options if Pakistan continues to violate ceasefire along the LoC, he added.
"A mechanism had been worked out whereby the DGMOs of both countries would meet to discuss cooling of the LoC and International Border.
"That has not happened so far. I believe that is an option that needs to be exercised, failing which obviously, the government will have to look at responding in kind," he told reporters in Srinagar.
Addressing state police personnel, Omar said, "If they (Pakistan) violate the ceasefire, we won't respond by words only. We will have to find some other options. If our people living along the borders are being targeted, we also know how to respond in kind but so far we do not want to do it."
Border Security Force (BSF) has instructed its troops deployed along the frontier with Pakistan not to become "easy targets" for the enemy and resort to "strong retaliation".
"The troops have been asked to function strategically and not become easy targets to the enemy's fire. They have also been asked to retaliate strongly whenever it is required," a senior BSF official said in Delhi.
The directions have been sent across to commanders and through them to troopers deployed along the LoC and the IB.
In New Delhi, a meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence was told that the Indian Army is giving a befitting reply to the ceasefire violations and that it is well prepared to deal with any situation.
The Army officials told the meeting that the Indian forces were responding appropriately to all ceasefire violations, sources said in Delhi.