Army Given ‘Free Hand’ to Respond to Pak’s Aggression: Report

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In the aftermath of the latest Indo-Pak border violence, which saw two Indian soldiers mutilated by Pakistani forces on Monday, the Indian government has reportedly given the Army a ‘free hand’ to retaliate to the attack.

The Pakistani Army killed two Indian soldiers and beheaded them, while indulging in an unprovoked shelling across the border. The Pakistani Army’s Border Action Team (BAT) had sneaked into Indian territory under the pretense of the shelling, and ambushed a patrol operating over 200 meters into Indian territory by the Line of Control (LoC) at Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.

Government officials told The Times of India that the Indian Army had been given a ‘free hand’ to respond to the beheading, with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley condemning the act and stating that “the army will react in an appropriate manner”.

Also Read: ‘Act of Barbarism’: India Will Respond to Mutilation, Says Jaitley

A senior officer told The Times of IndiaWhile fire assaults are already under way in different sectors of the LoC, the retaliation for Pakistan Army’s unsoldierly act in mutilating the bodies will be well-planned and executed at a time and place of our choosing.

The Indian Army had earlier released a press release exacting revenge for the act. “Such despicable act of the Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded”, read the release.

Punjab CM Backs Army’s Free Rein

Senior Congress Leader and Punjab Chief Minister strongly condemned the attack, demanding a 'free hand' to the Army to tackle dangerous situations in the line of duty.

An ex-Army personnel himself, Singh came out in solidarity with the Indian soldiers, backing the Army’s warning for an ‘appropriate response’.

The two army men, whose bodies were mutilated, were identified as Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh (22 Sikh Regiment) and head constable Prem Sagar (200 BSF Battalion). Paramjit Singh was leading the patrol between two Indian Forward Posts, when the Pakistani Army opened with rocket-propelled grenades.

(With inputs from PTI)