The difference between two statements made by Defence Minister A.K. Antony on the killing of five jawans on the Line of Control (LoC) was because of the slow pace at which information about the ambush had been filtering out, said highly placed sources.
It was a detailed forensic examination of the bodies later in the day which revealed that some of the dead soldiers had been shot very precisely on the forehead. The accuracy of single shots right between the eyes clearly had the stamp of Army professionals, because normally terrorists are not known to have these skills and are known to spray fire indiscriminately.
But all this was known later. Mr. Antony, when he made the first statement at 11.00 a.m. about an ambush that took place at 2.00 a.m., had only the hazy testimony of the lone surviving Indian Army personnel to rely upon. He had made the first statement in Parliament before the bodies were brought to the base hospital for post-mortem examination.
The Bharatiya Janata Party thought otherwise, and its veteran leader L.K. Advani claimed Mr. Antony’s first statement was altered at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The injured and traumatised jawan’s first description of the attackers was that they were mostly clothed in black salwar kameez. This resulted in the Defence Minister stating that the attackers seemed to be terrorists. The statement was also reflected in the first information report (FIR) filed by the Army with the police, suggesting it was a terrorist attack.
The highly placed sources said the real story about Pakistan Army’s involvement emerged later during the day, well after Mr. Antony had made the statement in Parliament, with the help of the Army’s forensic experts who studied the bodies carefully.
This forensic finding led the Army to ask the survivor again about the attackers. The second time the survivor told the Army that some men might have been Pakistani Army regulars in olive green outfits, a fact which was reflected in Mr. Antony’s second statement.