New Delhi, May 1: Two Indian Army jawans were mutilated by Pakistan on Monday. The cross-border operation was launched by Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT), amid the ongoing ambush between the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers at the Line of Control (LoC) near Poonch sector. Hours later, reports claimed that India launched a retaliatory attack, destroying two Pakistani posts across the Line of Control. The reports were dismissed by the Indian Army a day later, calling them baseless.
- “There was no retaliation whatsoever by us in the KG sector on Monday night. They (TV channels) go ballistic without asking us anything,” a senior army official of Northern Command was quoted as saying by HT.
- Earlier, the Pakistan Army issued an official statement denying the charge of mutilation levelled against them. “Pakistan Army is a highly professional force and shall never disrespect a soldier even Indian,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
- Accusing India of spreading false propaganda, the ISPR further claimed that no ceasefire violation occurred earlier in the day. “Pakistan Army did not commit any ceasefire violation on the LoC or a BAT action in Buttal sector as alleged by India,” the official statement added.
- The identities of victims were released by India following the BAT assault. The deceased were identified as Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of 22nd Sikh regiment and Head Constable Prem Sagar of 200th BSF battalion.
- Indian Army’s Northern Command had vowed retribution following the attack. “Such a despicable act of the Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded,” the official statement said.
- Defence Minister Arun Jaitley also assured an “appropriate action” to be taken by the armed forces in response to the mutilation. “This was an act of extreme barbarism. It does not happen even during wars, let alone peace,” he said.
- Following the mutilation of jawans, questions were raised at the ruling dispensation, regarding the policy adopted towards Pakistan.
- “Only lectures, emotional speeches won’t solve the problem. There is serious problem somewhere. There is flaw in the policies adopted by this government,” said Congress MP Ahmed Patel.
- Col (retd) Vin Tharappan, while speaking to India Today, said strategic or military operations once in a while could not deter Pakistan. “Enhancing security is a continuous process. There was a window of opportunity created after surgical strikes. But we apparently did not follow up,” he said.
According to former Indian envoy to Pakistan, G Parthasarathy, there is no alternative before India than to adopt an aggressive measure to tackle the western neighbour. “Pakistan is an army of barbarians and radical Islamists. They could only be deterred using the iron fist. Their Army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, wants to create turbulence at the borders to undermine the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif,” he said.
The call f0r unprecedented retaliation was also made by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. “By attacking India, Pakistan is inviting its own destruction. All nationalists are firm that India should retaliate and complete the task left incomplete in 1971. The Indian Army should march up to Lahore, as the civilian society has turned captive. The Islamic militants are calling the shots,” the Rajya Sabha MP opined.
*Editor’s Note: The story was edited at 22:14 hrs on Tuesday to insert the rejection of retaliation reports by Indian Army.