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Antony holds sudden meet with army chief on LoC situation

October 21, 2013 20:50 IST

Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh was on Monday suddenly called in by Defence Minister A K Antony to brief him about the ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the Line of Control, days after the prime minister voiced concern over the handling of Keran operations.

Gen Singh, who was chairing a high-level meeting of his senior commanders, left the conference following a communication from Antony's office.

Monday’s unscheduled briefing by the Army Chief comes after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concern to the Defence Ministry over the handling of Army operations in Keran where it claimed to have killed 12-13 members of a group of 30-40 terrorists in an operation that lasted for 15 days but after it was called off on October 8, not a single body was found from there.

The Defence Minister was briefed by the Army Chief on the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) where there have been frequent ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army, Defence Ministry officials said here.

A total of 136 ceasefire violations have been reported in 2013, the highest in the past 8 years. Even today, Pakistani rangers opened fire at 10 border posts injuring two people.

Antony will also hold a detailed review meeting with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and the three Services chiefs next week where the Keran issue is expected to come up for discussion.

Questions have been raised over the preparedness of the Army on the LoC at a time when there have been two incidents of attacks on Indian troops inside Indian territory in the past 10 months.

It is learnt that the Prime Minister expressed concern over the incident as a lot of "exaggerated claims" were made by formations about their success there about the encounter and, after it got over, the results did not match the claims.

Image: Defence Minister AK Antony with Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh

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