NSA briefs Sushma, Jaitley on ceasefire violations by Pak

New Delhi, Jan. 15 (ANI): National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon today briefed senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley on the ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC).

Menon's meeting with the senior BJP leaders took place at Sushma Swaraj's residence here.

Amid escalating tension with Pakistan on the LoC, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh spoke to the senior opposition leaders earlier on Monday.

Dr. Singh, who assured both the leaders that the opposition would be kept in loop over the situation, also told them that the National Security Advisor would brief them on the developments on the LoC.

Tension between the two Asian neighbours has escalated ever since Indian jawan Lance Naik Hemraj Singh was beheaded in an attack by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control on January 8.

Sushma Swaraj met the family members of martyr Lance Naik Hemraj Singh in Mathura earlier on Monday.

Swaraj, who was accompanied by BJP President Nitin Gadkari, demanded strict actions from the Indian Government over the ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

"We would demand both things from the government-firstly to seek apology from the family and the country for the apathy and also take revenge from Pakistan. Today, the country is demanding that we don't prove to be a weak government. The country will not accept the fact that our soldier is beheaded after crossing the Line of Control (LoC) and there is no reaction in retaliation from the government's side," she told mediapersons after meeting the martyr's kin.

India yesterday lodged a strong protest against the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and made it clear to it that the Army reserves the right to retaliate if provoked.

The Army's position was conveyed at a brigadier-level flag meeting between the two sides at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing-point in Poonch sector of the Jammu region.

Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, yesterday said Pakistan had pre-planned the whole operation, and added that the beheading and the mutilation of the bodies of two Indian jawans along the LoC was against all rules of engagement, gruesome and unpardonable.

Conveying his condolences to the families of the two Indian jawans killed by Pakistani troops, General Singh said Pakistani action is against the ethics and principle of soldiering.

"My heart especially goes out today to the families of two soldiers who were killed on the 8th (January 8), who were mutilated after the operation on the 8th. It was a gruesome act, most unpardonable act. We have launched a very strong protest in this regard through the government, through the Director General of Military Operation (DGMO)," said General Singh.

"Alongside, this act it defies all logic, it is against the very principles and rules of engagement. It is against the very ethics of soldiering and professionalism. And therefore, in very strong terms we have taken up this case with the Government of Pakistan through our government. The DGMOs have conveyed this in the talk," he added.

The Army Chief further talked tough, saying the Indian Army reserves the right to retaliate when it is provoked.

General Singh said the government is trying diplomatically to bring back Lance Naik Hemraj's head

Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh were killed by infiltrating Pakistani soldiers in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on January 8.

Their bodies were found mutilated, sparking a diplomatic face-off between India and Pakistan and tension along the Line of Control that separates the two countries.

Pakistan has denied India's claim that its troops crossed the Line of Control to ambush a patrol party in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district. (ANI)

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