Army chief visits slain soldier's family

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 14:02 hrs
Army Chief may meet slain soldier's family

Mathura: The chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, met the family members of Lance Naik Hemraj at Shernagar village of Mathura district on Wednesday amid demands that the severed head of the martyred soldier be brought back.

General Singh along with his wife Surjeet Kaur and top army commanders conveyed his condolences to the family of Hemraj.

The Army chief said: "I have come here to express solidarity with martyr's family. All their demands will be met according to the rulebooks of the Army. We will stand by the family."

Commenting on continuous ceasefire violation by Pakistan on Line of Control, General Singh said: "We don't violate ceasefire, but will fire back when fired upon."

Hemraj's wife and mother had gone on a six-day fast demanding that the Army Chief must visit their house and assure them that the martyred soldier's severed head will be brought back.

"I will go. They are my people. I will send my senior officer there. I will definitely go. Let this event, the Army Day, be over, I will definitely go and meet the family. If that is the demand, I shall be there," General Singh told reporters on January 14.

General Singh had also warned Pakistan that India reserves the right to retaliate at the time and place of its choosing.

The Prime Minister had on Tuesday termed as 'barbaric' the brutal killing of Indian jawans along the Line of Control (LoC), saying there cannot be business as usual with Islamabad.

Singh, who broke his silence on the prevailing tension with Pakistan on the LoC, said the attack on the Indian jawans is unacceptable.

"After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan. Pakistan must be held accountable for what happened on the LoC. Hope Pakistan will bring the perpetrators of beheading to justice. The future peace process depends on Pakistan," he said.

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

India has 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 on Monday.

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.

More from Sify: