Akhnoor (Jammu and Kashmir):
The Northern Army Commander, Lieutenant General KT Parnaik, has said there have been three incidents of ceasefire violations since the flag meeting between India and Pakistan yesterday afternoon.
"Two of them were reported from the Mendhar region. Firing was reported even at the time of Army Chief's address," Lt Gen Parnaik said. "We have not responded to these because they were not effective but we are watching them," he told NDTV, adding Pakistan had planted mines in Indian territory.
"During the ceasefire violations, they would fire on the pickets and taking advantage of the night, some terrorists have probably come in and they have planted some mines. These were discovered and we have uncovered these mines, they are Pakistani mines. We had shown these to the Pakistani Brigadier who had come (for the flag meeting)," said Lt Gen Parnaik.
At a 35-minute flag meeting between the two side in Chakan-da-bagh in the Poonch sector yesterday, India lodged a strong protest against ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) and also expressed concern at the barbaric way Pakistani troops treated the bodies of Indian soldiers killed after an ambush last week. (Read
Lt Gen Parnaik said, "At the end of the meeting, they remained arrogant and adamant. They were not ready to admit anything. Their body language was that of reluctance."
He denied Pakistan's claims that Indian troops had crossed over to their side of the Line of Control on January 6. India maintains its troops had opened fire following a Pakistani mortar attack.
Two days later Pakistani troops violated ceasefire and mutilated the bodies of two jawans - Lance Naiks Hemraj Singh and Sudhakar Singh; Hemraj's body was decapitated and the head is missing.
Army Chief General Bikram Singh has said the beheading is "unacceptable" and "unpardonable". "They (Pakistan) have planted lies to justify what they have done. India reserves its right to retaliate at the time and place of its choice. We won't remain passive when attacked.
Today, he asserted that the Indian Army is prepared to face "all challenges to national security and foil the designs of the enemy." Addressing the 65th Army Day parade in New Delhi, General Singh praised the conduct of the Indian soldiers on the border. "Our soldiers are doing their duty following the rules of engagement to the highest standards, he said. (Watch
After the killing of the two Indian soldiers, the BJP sharply criticised the government's policy on Pakistan. Yesterday, at one of the martyr, Lans Naik Hemraj's village, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, "The incident that has happened, we should take revenge... If we don't get this (Hemraj's) head, we should get ten of theirs (Pakistan army's)," Ms Swaraj said. (Read
But this morning the BJP's response was more muted. It assured the government of its support while calling for tough measures on Pakistan. (Read
That came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh phoned Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley last evening and discussed the issue. That was followed by the National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon briefing this morning on the situation at the Line of Control (LoC).