New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The mutilation of two Indian soldiers and beheading of one of them Jan 8 along the Line of Control (LoC) was not the first such incident by Pakistani soldiers, sources said Monday.
"This is the third incident in the last 13 years. In May 2000, an Indian army soldier was beheaded by Pakistani troops along the LoC. Last July, two Indian troopers were decapitated by Pakistani soldiers," an official told IANS.
Army chief General Bikram Singh also said at his press conference here Monday that such beheadings had taken place earlier.
Asked if if two soldiers of Kumaon regiment had been beheaded by Pakistani soldiers earlier, he said "such an incident had taken place".
Asked about another such incident concerning Rajput Regiment, Bikram Singh said situation along LoC was dynamic and there was action and reaction.
He denied that the incidents were hushed up and said the information was shared with the defence ministry. "In a democracy, there is transparency," Gen. Singh said.
He said the Jan 8 killing of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh and Lance Naik Hemraj - who was decapitated and his head taken away - in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops was a "gruesome and an unpardonable act" and the army "reserved the right to retaliate" at a time and place of their choosing.
He said that the incident had strategic complication in terms of beheading.
Asked if Pakistan would up the ante by ceasefire violations in new areas across the LoC, he said: "I do not suppose this will happen."