India will retaliate if provoked: Army chief

NEW DELHI: Even as India and Pakistan get ready for a brigadier-level flag meeting to try and defuse the tension along the Line of Control today, Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh warned that India will not remain passive if attacked and reserves its right to retaliate.

The Army chief said at a press conference that India has been extremely measured in its response to Pakistani firing at Indian posts in LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, but India will retaliate against Pakistan at a time and place of its own choice.

Gen. Bikram Singh said that he had given clear orders to the army commanders and soldiers to retaliate it provoked. He said that India was looking at various options to act against Pakistan.
He slammed Pakistan for the heading of Indian soldiers, calling the act totally unacceptable, gruesome and unpardonable. It was also against the rules of engagement.

The general said that the Pakistani attack on Indian soldiers was pre-meditated.

On Sunday, too, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne too had warned Pakistan saying that if the excesses along the LoC did not stop, India would look at other options.

Despite the fact that the flag meeting to be held shortly, the heavy firing along the LoC continues. An Army spokesman said that Pakistani troops fired at Indian posts in Nangitikri and Krishnagati in Poonch.

Meanwhile, the wife of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, the soldier who was beheaded by Pakistani troops, is on a hunger strike saying she will not end her fast till the head of her husband is returned to her.

During the flag meeting, India is expected to demand Singh’s severed head.

Gen Bikram Singh said that the Indian government is trying to bring back Hemraj's severed head which was taken away by Pakistani troops as a trophy after their grisly act of beheading him.
Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh of the 13 Rajputana Rifles were killed by Pakistani soldiers after the enemy sneaked into the Mendhar sector on January 8.

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