Backing former defence minister A.K. Antony’s statement where he called on the Centre to give a free hand to the Indian Army in giving an ‘appropriate reply’ to the mutilation of two Indian soldiers’ bodies by Pakistan, the Congress Party on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is neither able to protect the border nor the bodies of soldiers who are sacrificing their lives. “The BJP Government has not even completed three years yet and till now three such unfortunate incidents have occurred. In total, the current government is neither able to protect the border nor they are able to protect the bodies of soldiers who are sacrificing their lives. This shows the seriousness of the saffron party,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told ANI.
He further said that Antony is admired for his honesty, adding only one such incident had taken place under the UPA government for which it took necessary actions. Resonating similar sentiments, another Congress leader Oscar Fernandes said earlier only one such incident had happened but now this is happening repeatedly. “As per I recall, this is the third time that such incident has taken place for which the Indian Army must be given a free hand to act and put an end to such events,” he added.
Calling on the Centre to give a free hand to the Indian Army in giving an ‘appropriate reply’ to Pakistan’s barbaric act in Jammu and Kashmir’s Krishna Ghati sector, Antony yesterday reminded that such an incident had happened only once under the Congress regime.
While clarifying that he does not want to politicise the incident, Antony said, “During our time, only one such incident happened. The incident of mutilation happened only once in eight years. But here it has happened thrice. It has affected the morale of the Indian Army. It puts a question on the security structure. Give freedom to the army to take appropriate action at appropriate time.”
The former defence minister further reiterated that the government must give a free hand to the Army to handle it in their own way. “My message is clear: Give freedom to the Army to take appropriate action as a reaction to this cruel, inhuman, barbaric action by Pakistan,” Antony told the media.
Indian Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt yesterday raised the issue of Border Action Team (BAT) camps near the Line of control with his Pakistani counterpart.
Bhatt also raised the issue of fire support provided by the Pakistani posts. “DGMO Indian Army conveyed that such dastardly and inhuman act is beyond any norms of civility and merits unequivocal condemnation and response,” the Indian Army said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Border Security Force (BSF) has highlighted that the brutal Krishna Ghati incident occurred post the visit of the Pakistan Army Chief to the Line of Control (LoC), adding that Islamabad’s BAT, involved in the attack, comprised Mujahedeen terrorists as well. “I would not like to comment formally on this. But yes, everybody knows that this has taken place immediately after the visit of the Pakistan Army Chief to the frontal area,” said BSF Additional Director General (ADG) Western Command K.N. Choubey.
The Pakistani soldiers along with their Border Action Team (BAT), which include trained border inhabitants had launched a joint attack.
They first fired rockets and followed this up with firing from automatic weapons, near Kranti Post located in Poonch’s Krishna Ghati Sector around 8.30 a.m. The Pakistanis then crossed the LoC, entered 200 meters into Indian Territory, and attacked a joint patrol of the Army and Border Security Force (BSF), heading towards a nearby post.
It is the same Krishna Ghati sector where the Pakistani BAT had beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and badly severed the head of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh of 13 Rajputana Rifles on January 8, 2013.