Field commanders on Wednesday briefed Army Chief General Bikram Singh about Tuesday’s assault in which five soldiers had died near the Line of Control in Poonch.
Earlier, Gen. Singh paid tributes to the slain soldiers at a military formation close to the Jammu airport. Five coffins were received from Poonch before his arrival. The mortal remains were sent to the places of slain soldiers after the wreath-laying ceremony.
A special wreath-laying ceremony at headquarters of 26th Division near Jammu Airport was attended by senior Army officials. General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra and GOC of 16 Corps, Lt Gen D.S. Hooda were among the officers who received the Army chief and escorted him to a specially decorated spot for the wreath-laying.
Bodies of the five soldiers were carried from Pooch to Jammu and placed at a military formation on Jammu Airport Road. Sources said that all the five bodies were being dispatched for respective residences of the soldiers, four of them in Bihar.
Immediately after the wreath-laying ceremony, where the Last Post was played in a somber ambience, Gen Bikram Singh left for the Nagrota headquarters of the 16 Corps by helicopter. He was accompanied by Lt Gen Chachra and Lt Gen Hooda. Sources said that the Army chief would have a detailed review of Tuesday’s incident of the killing of five soldiers in an ambush near the LoC in Poonch. Latest obtaining security scenario on the International Border in Jammu besides the LoC was being discussed at the high-level meeting, sources said.
Gen. Singh is scheduled to visit Poonch where he would interact with the jawans and the field commanders of 93 Brigade, including the units of 21 Bihar Regiment and Maratha Light Infantry, who suffered the fatal casualties in the ambush referred to among the Army circles as a “professional assault” and “intrusion”. Sources said that Gen. Singh was also likely to visit some outposts in Poonch-Rajouri strip in Jammu. It was not clear whether or not he would be also visiting the headquarters of Northern Command at Udhampur.
Reports awaiting confirmation said that GOC of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Gurmit Singh was also being called to Jammu to attend a meeting with the Army chief. State government officials said they had no information regarding any scheduled meeting of the Army chief with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah or Governor N.N. Vohra but they did not rule out such a possibility before .Gen Singh’s departure for New Delhi in the evening.