Pak Forces Cross LOC, Behead 2 Indian Soldiers


Jammu: Under the cover of heavy mortar fire, a Pakistani special forces team sneaked 250 metres deep inside Indian side of Kashmir and beheaded two Indian security personnel on Monday, officials said.

“An Indian Army patrol team was taken by surprise by a group of Pakistani special forces who had set up an ambush more than 250 metres deep inside Indian territory early on Monday morning and beheaded two security personnel”, officials on Indian side said.

Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) set up the ambush in Krishna Ghati Sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir and waited for a long time for the patrol team, while Pakistani troops attacked two forward posts with rockets and mortar bombs along the Line of Control (LoC), they said.

The Indian Army vowed an “appropriate” response to  what it termed as a “despicable act”, which significantly took place a day after Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited some areas along the LoC and promised support to the Kashmiris.

The army issued a statement saying that the bodies of an army soldier and a BSF head constable were mutilated but a senior army officer told PTI that they were beheaded.

The BAT team had set up an ambush to target the patrol party of the Indian soldiers while the Pakistan Army engaged two Indian forward defence locations (FDL) with rockets and mortar bombs, the officials said.

“It was a pre-planned operation of the Pakistan Army.

They had pushed in BAT teams over 250 meters deep inside Indian territory and set up ambushes for a long period to carry out the attack,” a senior army official said.

“The Pakistani army posts attacked two FDL posts with rockets and mortar bombs at 0830 hours and engaged them,” the official said.

“Their target was a 7 to 8-member patrol party, which had come out of the post,” the official said.

He said as the posts were engaged, the patrol party men ran here and there.

“Two members of the patrol party, who were left behind, were attacked by the BAT team and killed. Their bodies were badly mutilated,” the official said.

“Pakistani Army carried out unprovoked rocket and mortar firing on two forward posts on the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati Sector (in Poonch district) this morning,” a defence ministry spokesman said.

“Simultaneously, a BAT action was launched on a patrol operating in between the two posts,” said a statement issued by the Northern Army Command.

The soldiers killed were Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of 22 Sikh Infantry and Head Constable Prem Sagar of 200th Battalion of BSF. A BSF constable Rajinder Singh was injured but is out of danger.

As per reports, at 0825 hours, Pakistani army’s 647 Mujahid Battalion targeted India’s forward post ‘Kirpan’ from its post ‘Pimple’ in Krishna Ghati sector.

It was followed by attack on another forward post in the same area.

As per a senior BSF officer, at about 0830 hours, there was heavy firing from the Pakistani army posts at BSF posts at LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district with rockets and automatic weapons.

“They attacked with rockets a forward BSF post (which lies) ahead of the fencing and opened heavy fire from automatic weapons. They violated the ceasefire,” the BSF officer said.

“It is an attack directly hitting a posts (listening post)”, he said.

Indian troops retaliated and the firing continued for some time intermittenly.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in Delhi that the mutilation of the bodies was “reprehensible” and an “extreme form of barbarism”.

He said the armed forces will react appropriately to the “inhuman act” and their “sacrifice will not go in vain”.

In April this year, there were seven ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops along the LOC in Poonch and Rajouri sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.

On April 19, the Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch sector.

Two days prior to that, the Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing and shelling mortars on forward posts in Noushera sector along the LoC in Rajouri district, according to Indian army officials.

They had broken the ceasefire in the same sector on April 8, in Poonch district on April 5, in Bhimbher Gali (BG) sector on April 4 and twice on April 3 in Balakote and (Digwar) Poonch sectors.

In Digwar sector of Poonch, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), Naib Subedar S Sanayaima Som, was killed in an improvise explosive device (IED) blast along the LoC in Poonch sector on April 1.

There were four violations of the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch in March.

On March 9, army jawan Deepak Jagannath Ghadge was killed when Pakistani soldiers initiated indiscriminate and unprovoked firing along the LoC in Poonch.

In 2016, there were 228 instances of ceasefire violation along the LoC, while there were 221 instances of ceasefire violation along the International Border (IB).

Chronology of events

• May, 1999: Six soldiers on patrol in the Kaksar sector of Jammu and Kashmir were taken captive by the Pakistan army on May 15, 1999. They were tortured for weeks before being killed and their mutilated bodies were handed over to India on June 9. It triggered the Kargil war.

• Feb, 2000: Pakistani militant Ilyas Kashmiri led a raid on Indian Army’s Ashok Listening Post in the Noushera sector, killing seven Indian soldiers. He took back to Pakistan the head of one Indian jawan.

• June, 2008: A soldier lost his way and was captured by a Pakistani border action team in Kel sector. His body was found beheaded a few days later.

• Jan, 2013: One soldier was beheaded and another killed by Pakistani troops after they crossed into the Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

• Oct 28, 2016: A soldier’s body was found mutilated in Kupwara’s Machil near the Line of Control while the army was engaged in cross-border firing with Pakistan’s army.

• Nov 22, 2016: Suspected Pakistani troops killed three soldiers and mutilated one of the bodies during a gunfight in the Machhil sector along the LoC in Kupwara.

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