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India lodges strong protest with Pakistan at flag meet

Source: PTI
January 14, 2013 16:39 IST
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Indian Army on Monday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan Army over the killing of two of its jawans, one of whom was beheaded, and continued ceasefire violations along the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The flag meeting between brigade commanders of India and Pakistan started around 1300 hours and ended at 1332 hours at Chakan-Da-Bagh Crossing-Point in Poonch sector", a senior Army officer told PTI.

The Indian team was led by 10th Bridage (Krishnaghati Brigade) Commander Brig T S Sandhu in the meeting with the Pakistan brigade commander at Chakan da Bagh Crossing Point along the Line of Control in Poonch district.

The officer said further details were awaited as the team was returning from the forward area.

Army had lodged a strong protest with Pakistan Army over the brutal, barbaric and inhuman killing of two Army jawans after intrusion in Poonch sector on January 8 and also continued ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops.

The Indian Army had sent a hotline message to Pakistan Army on January 11 and called for a Brigade Commander-level flag meeting to discuss the issues of brutal killing of two jawans after major intrusion by Pakistani troops of 29 Baloch Regiment and increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in Poonch sector.

Pakistan had yesterday responded to the request for flag meeting through hot-line, he said, adding that "we had sought flag meeting of the two brigade commanders".

Pakistan's High Commissioner Salman Bashir was earlier summoned in Delhi by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who had lodged a strong protest over Pakistani Army action in which the two soldiers were killed and their bodies were subjected to "barbaric and inhuman mutilation".

Pakistan has suspended cross-LoC trade and travel at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch sector since Thursday and Friday respectively.

This is second Brigade Commander-level flag meeting held along the LoC in Poonch in the last six months.

A brigade commander's flag meeting was held at Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC in Poonch sector on June 23, last year to discuss the killings of two soldiers in ceasefire violations, besides closure of LoC trade and travel between two sides via Chakan-Da-Bagh point.

The two jawans, including one of BSF, were killed and four others injured in firing by Pakistan troops in four ceasefire violations since June 11 to June 16 last year along the LoC in Poonch sector.

Ahead of the meeting, Pakistani troops had on Sunday violated the ceasefire targeting Indian posts in Poonch sector.

Pakistan troops fired on the Indian posts in Nangitikri forward area along LoC in Poonch district around 1630 hours on Sunday, after heavy overnight firing in Krishnaghati sub-sector in Poonch, an Army officer had said.

Pakistani posts opposite Nangitikri targeted the Indian side and Indian troops guarding the borderline had retaliated, he had said.

The exchange continued for a brief period before coming to a halt, he had said, adding there was no loss of life or injury to anyone on the Indian side.

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