India will strongly protest the decapitation of one of its soldiers at the flag meeting with commanders of the Pakistan army, according to sources. The Indian Army will demand the severed head of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who was killed on Tuesday, reportedly by the Pakistani troops. The meeting will take place at 1 pm.
Pakistan last evening again targeted several Indian posts across the LoC in Poonch. Firing in the district was reported on Saturday night too.
There are inputs that Pakistan has been pushing in infiltrators into India in the garb of the cease fire violations in Poonch. The police are on a high alert across the region to block any Pakistani attempts to escalate militancy.
Press Trust of India on Saturday quoted Defence Spokesman Colonel RK Palta as saying "there was a movement of six to seven people close to the LoC opposite Krishna Ghati sub-sector in Poonch sector at around 2145 hours."
The Indian troops opened fire on the suspected infiltrators and thereafter there was exchange of heavy fire, said Colonel Palta. After about half-an-hour of exchange of fire, the suspected infiltrators disappeared from the scene, Colonel Palta said. There was no immediate report of any casualty or injury on the Indian side.
Pakistani troops had continued intermittent firing across the LoC at five posts in the Krishna Ghati and Sona Gali sectors of Jammu and Kashmir all through Friday night, sources in the Indian Army said. They added that the firing first began from the Pakistani side at around 4.30 pm on Friday after which India retaliated.
Meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne has reiterated India's stand that the LoC is sacrosanct. He said that while Pakistan's repeated violations of the 2003 ceasefire agreement are unacceptable, India will explore all options available.
The stand-off has impacted the cross-border trade and a bus service between the Poonch sector in India and Rawalakot on the Pakistan side of the Line of Control (LoC). Indian authorities say they have been informed by the Pakistani side that trade and travel has been suspended in that sector because of the tension in the region and the possibility of crossfire. Border trade is however unaffected between Uri and Chakan-da-Badh in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and across the Wagah-Attari border.
Both sides have accused the other's troops of violating the ceasefire and crossing the LoC to kill jawans. Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal was summoned by the Pakistan government on Friday in protest against the death of a Pakistani soldier who died on Thursday evening allegedly in firing by Indian troops. A statement released after the meeting said Pakistan had protested against "the repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian Army."
The tension began last Sunday when the Pakistani army accused India of killing one of its soldiers and wounding another in a cross-border attack. India said its troops had opened fire following a Pakistani mortar attack, but denied they crossed the border. Four soldiers have been killed in the last five days. This week marks a peak in hostility since 2003, when the ceasefire was agreed upon.