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Government gives Army free hand to avenge Pakistan’s mutilation act

NEW DELHI: In a fresh outrage by Pakistan, two Indian soldiers were beheaded+and another injured by a Pakistani ‘border action team’ (BAT) that sneaked into Indian territory under cover of heavy shelling in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

The provocation led the two armies to sharply escalate their exchange of fire in several areas along the 778-km Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, worsening the already deep chill in India-Pakistan ties.

India vowed to exact revenge for the “barbaric” mutilation of the bodies during the well-planned BAT raid and ambush conducted over 200 metres inside Indian territory, which came less than 24 hours after Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited the LoC on Sunday.

Government sources on Monday said the Indian Army has been given a free hand to respond to the fresh beheading, with defence minister Arun Jaitley holding that the sacrifice of the two Indian men in uniform would not go in vain.

The Army, on its part, promised “appropriate” retribution for the “despicable act”. General Bipin Rawat, incidentally, was in the Kashmir Valley on Monday to review the operational situation along the LoC as well as the counter-insurgency operations in the hinterland.

“While fire assaults are already under way in different sectors of the LoC, the retaliation for Pakistan army’s unsoldierly act in mutilating the bodies will be well-planned and executed at a time and place of our choosing,” said a senior officer.

The incident will mount further pressure, both tactically and politically, on the Narendra Modi government to walk its tough talk on security issues, coming as it does just after the recent massacre of CRPF jawans in Sukma as well as the terror attack on the Panzgam Army camp.


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