‘Will Respond To Pakistan At Time & Place Of Our Choosing’

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Srinagar: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday visited the forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and asked the troops to remain alert and thwart “any misadventure” from across the border, even as Vice-Chief Sarath Chand said Pakistan will have to face the consequences of mutilating bodies of two Indian soldiers.

“The army will respond to the dastardly act at a time and place of its choosing,” the Vice-Chief told reporters in New Delhi.

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During his interaction with the troops at the forward areas General Rawat reassured them that the entire nation stands behind its soldiers in their “brave endeavours to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and integrity and maintaining peace” in the Valley.

The army chief, who was on a two-day visit to Kashmir since Monday, was accompanied by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D Anbu and Srinagar-based Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu.

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“The army chief was briefed by formation commanders on the security situation on the border and measures instituted to strengthen the security posture besides overall operational and logistical preparedness,” an army official said.

He said Gen Rawat impressed upon the troops to remain vigilant and thwart “any misadventure from across especially now as the summer sets in” and snow will melt on the mountain passes.

General Rawat on Monday visited Panzgam garrison and was briefed on the encounter with terrorists which took place on April 27.

Vice-Chief Sarath Chand said the killing of the two soldiers and beheading them showed frustration of the Pakistan military and asserted that it will never be able to justify the action.

“I do not want to say what we will do. Instead of speaking, we will focus on our action at a time and place of our choosing,” he told reporters.

He was replying to questions on possible retaliation by the Indian Army over the Pakistani action.

“They (Pakistani army) have said it was not done by their forces. Then who did it. Their people came to our area and did it. They will have to take responsibility and face consequences for it,” Chand said.

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Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had said on Monday that the “sacrifice (of the two killed) will not go in vain” and the Indian armed forces will react “appropriately” to the “inhuman act” of the Pakistani troops.

“This is a reprehensible and an inhuman act. Such attacks don’t even take place during war, let alone during peace time.

Bodies of soldiers being mutilated is an extreme form of barbaric act,” the defence minister said.

The soldiers killed were Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh and BSF Head Constable Prem Sagar.

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