In a “grave provocation by the Pakistan Army”, its troops on Tuesday morning sneaked 500 metre into Indian territory in Poonch district and ambushed an Army patrol, killing two soldiers, whose bodies were reportedly mutilated.
Sources said the Border Action Team (BAT) of the Pakistani Army crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Krishna Ghati area and carried out the strikes.
Army sources said the intruding Pakistani troops opened heavy machine gun fire on a patrolling party near Chapti and Atma posts at the LoC around 9 am today.
The Pakistani troops took away with them the weapons of the two killed soldiers, identified as Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh of 13 Rajputana Rifles, said Army sources.
Sources said the bodies of Indian soldiers were badly mutilated. The Army, however, didn’t confirmed the reports.
The top-brass of the Army was briefed about the attack in the afternoon. General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C), Northern Command, Lt Gen KT Parnaik, was in the area throughout the day.
This was the 70th incident of firing across the LoC in the past 12 months. The Army termed the attack as a “significant escalation” to the continuing series of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts supported by the Pakistan Army.
“This is yet another grave provocation by the Pakistan Army which is being taken up sternly through official channels,” said Lt Col Rajesh Kalia, PRO (Defence), Headquarters Northern Command.
“A group of their regular soldiers crossed the Line of Control in the Mendhar Sector on January 8. Having taken advantage of thick fog and mist in the forested area, the Pakistani troops were moving towards our posts when an alert area domination patrol spotted and engaged the intruders,” he said.
“The firefight continued for approximately half an hour after which the intruders retreated towards their side of LoC,” said Kalia. In the past 48 hours, this is the second exchange of fire across the heavily militarised LoC. On January 6, Pakistan had resorted to “unprovoked heavy machine gun and mortar firing” on Indian posts in the Uri sector. The Indian Army had given a calibrated response which resulted in the death of a Pakistani soldier and injuries to another. Pakistan Army, however, had alleged that Indian troops allegedly crossed the LoC and “targeted” a border post. Indian Army had denied that there had been no cross-border movement by its troops. Some civilian houses were damaged due to Pakistani firing in Uri Sector.
In the last one month, the Pakistan Army had violated the ceasefire agreement nearly a dozen times. Most of these violations were in Rajouri, Uri and Keran Sector to assist infiltration attempts, said Army sources. .
The Director General Military Operations of both the countries are in touch over the incident.
Shelling on 8 Indian posts
Hours after a gruesome attack on an Army patrol, the Pakistan army targeted at least eight Indian posts in the Krishna Ghati sector on Tuesday evening. Pakistani troops opened fire on Kranti one, Kranti two, Nagli Takri, Ravi, Chapti, Atma, Chhajman and Ghorha posts at 6 pm. The shelling continued intermittently till 8.30 pm.
“The Government of India considers the incident as a provocative action (by Pakistan) and we condemn it. The government will take up the incident with Pakistan. We expect Islamabad to honour the ceasefire agreement strictly.