NEW DELHI: Pakistani soldiers and terrorists killed five Indian soldiers of the 21 Bihar Unit in an ambush in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on late Monday night.
This is the biggest incident on the LoC since the beheading of one Indian soldier and the mutilation of the body of another by Pakistani troops in the Mendhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir in January this year.
Among the five killed were a junior commissioned officer and four jawans. Another jawan was critically injured.
Army chief Gen Bikram Singh is visiting the LOC to take stock of the situation even as a army spokesman said that “patrolling and security have been heightened along the border with Pakistan.”
The attack was carried out by about 20 terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad and Pakistan soldiers, according to army sources.
The terrorists were “dressed in Pakistan Army uniform,’’ defence minister A. K. Anthony told parliament which was adjourned in the morning on its second day of the Monsoon session as uproar erupted over the killing of the soldiers.
Even as the defence minister was trying to assure the House that the Indian army was capable of meeting any situation, BJP leader Jaswant Sinha taunted the ruling party by saying that this government’s policies have made our armed forces “helpless’’ in the face of “repeated aggression” by Pakistan.
“There was Mumbai attack. There was beheading of soldier. After that there have been regular incidents of Pakistani aggression,’’ Jaswant Sinha said.
Outside Parliament, another BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said India should have a bullet-for-bullet policy against Pakistan.“You can’t have bullets being fired on the border and our soldiers being killed, and then hold talks side by side,’’ he told a channel.
The Indian government called the Pakistani deputy high commissioner to lodge a strong protest even as a Pakistani army source in Islamabad said that “no Pakistani troops either crossed into India nor carried out any unprovoked firing. The Indian allegations are totally baseless.’’
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi called it a “dastardly ambush.”