Srinagar: The Army vowed “heavy retribution” after Pakistan’s troops killed three Indian soldiers and mutilated one of the bodies at Machil sector in Kashmir’s Kupwara district along the Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday.
The Army’s Northern Command tweeted: “3 soldiers killed in action on LoC in Machil. Body of one soldier mutilated, retribution will be heavy for this cowardly act”.
However, Pakistan rejected the reports as "false" and "baseless" and claimed that its army did not have anything to do with the mutilation or the killings.
Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in a series of tweets said the reports about the mutilation were aimed at maligning Palistan.
"Pakistan strongly rejects the false & baseless Indian media reports regarding the alleged mutilation of an Indian solider on the LoC. These reports are a fabrication and a blatant attempt to malign Pakistan," he said.
Zakaria said as a professional force, Pakistan Army isn't involved in any such "unethical & non-professional" activity.
India's Defence Minister who is known to not mince words called the attack a 'cowardly' attack, even though he did not name Pakistan directly.
"Condemn the cowardly & brutal killing of our soldiers & mutilation of one of them. Salute these brave martyrs for their supreme sacrifice," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Twitter.
The gory incident, the second of its kind in the same sector in less than a month. sparked heavy shelling. Army sources said the soldier whose body was mutilated was part of a counter-infiltration patrol party that was ambushed by a group of armed intruders, believed to be members of Pakistan’s ‘Border Action Team’ (BAT) or terrorists backed by it in the northernmost district.
Army says killings typical of Pak’s Bat
The Army briefed defence minister Manohar Parrikar on the killings. “It is a numbers game now and it is just a question of a few days when we do what we have to do,” said an enraged Army official, adding that the operation is typical of Pakistan’s BAT which often operates with the terrorists along the LoC.
On October 29, infiltrating terrorists had mutilated the body of 30-year-old Sepoy Mandeep Singh, who was killed in a brief firefight with them along the LoC in the same sector. After mutilating the body, the terrorists ran back into Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir, under cover fire provided by Pakistan’s Army, officials said.
In January 2013, the beheading of an Indian soldier and mutilation of another’s body in Mendhar sector of along the LoC in Poonch district had left the two countries teetering on the brink of war.
In June 2008, a soldier of the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles lost his way and was captured by a Pakistani’s BAT) in Kel sector. His body was found beheaded after a few days. Meanwhile, a suspected Pakistani terrorist guide was shot dead by BSF troops near the IB in Jammu, foiling an infiltration bid....