File photo of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley (Photo: PTI)

India Vows ‘Appropriate’ Response To Killing Of Soldiers; Pakistan Denies Violation

India today vowed an "appropriate" response to the beheading of two soldiers by Pakistani forces, saying their sacrifice will not go in vain, as political parties came together to condemn the "barbaric act." The Pakistan Army has denied mutilating the bodies of the two Indian security personnel.

"Such a despicable act of Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded," the Indian Army said in a press statement after the soldiers were killed by Pakistani forces. A junior commissioned officer (JCO) and a Border Security Force head constable were killed and their bodies mutilated by a Pakistan army team which sneaked about 250 metres into the Indian territory along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Describing the mutilation as an extreme form of barbaric act, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the whole country has full confidence and faith in its armed forces and that the sacrifice of the two soldiers will not go in vain.

"The Government of India strongly condemns this act and the whole country has full confidence and faith in our armed forces which will react appropriately to this inhuman act. The sacrifice of these two soldiers will not go in vain," Jaitley said.

This is a reprehensible and an inhuman act. Such attacks don’t even take place during war, let alone during peace time.
Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister

The incident significantly took place a day after Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited some areas along the LoC and promised support to the Kashmiris.

The soldiers killed were Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of 22 Sikh Infantry and Head Constable Prem Sagar of 200th Battalion of BSF.

Pakistan Denies Allegations

The Pakistan Army denied that its special forces team sneaked 250 metres across the Line of Control and beheaded two Indian security personnel.

"Pakistan Army did not commit any ceasefire violation on the Line of Control or a Border Action Team (BAT) action in the Buttal sector (India's Krishna Ghati sector) as alleged by India. Indian blame of mutilating Indian soldiers' bodies is also false," a statement from the Pakistan Army's Inter-Services Public Relations wing said.

"Pakistan Army is a highly professional force and shall never disrespect a soldier, even Indian," it said.

Unified Response

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, by engaging in such action, Pakistan was scripting its own destruction.

The Congress said such cowardly acts are unacceptable in a civilised society and are not conducive to the neighbouring country's own interests and security.

"It deserves to be condemned firmly and Pakistan must realise that these actions are unacceptable in the civilized society and they are not conducive to Pakistan's own interest, its own security and the welfare of its people," Congress’ spokesperson Anand Sharma said.

BJP's national spokesperson Nalin Kohli said it appears that "inhumanity and barbarism" has become the norm in Pakistan.

"This act will not go unpunished as under Prime Minister Narendra Modi the army has not been restrained from responding to Pakistan's unprovoked ceasefire violations," he said.

Communist Party of India (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury condemned Pakistan but added that the government should set its own house in order first and not let such incidents happen.

Yechury said such action by Pakistan's special forces should not be tolerated, but added, "we should also not give them the opportunity for such things to happen. We need to set our own house in order."

This story combines three PTI reports.