Defence Ministry formally confirms beheading of soldier

‘Earlier press releases were issued when details of incident were still not clear’

January 12, 2013 07:14 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 10:57 pm IST - New Delhi

In this January 9, 2013 photo, Army personnel carry the coffin of Lance Naik Hemraj in Rajouri.

In this January 9, 2013 photo, Army personnel carry the coffin of Lance Naik Hemraj in Rajouri.

An Indian Army press release cited by Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, to the effect that the two Indian soldiers killed in the recent cross-LoC incident “had not been mutilated and beheaded” was based on incomplete information, the Ministry of Defence formally clarified on Saturday.

In a statement titled ‘Mutilation and beheading of Indian soldiers killed in Pakistan raid’, MoD spokesperson Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya noted Mr. Jilani's remarks to the media in Islamabad on Friday — reported in The Hindu on January 12, 2013 — as well as an earlier Reuters wire service story of January 8 which had quoted the spokesperson of India’s Northern Army Command as saying that while the bodies had been mutilated, they had not been beheaded.

“It is clarified that Pakistan has quoted the initial press release given by the spokesman of Indian Army’s Northern Command, on 08 Jan 2012, when the details of the incident were still not clear,” the MoD said. “Subsequently, on the same day, Indian Army made a statement that the body of one soldier was mutilated. Both these statements were made based on the information available at the time of making those statements.”

Seeking to set the details right, Colonel Dahiya said that “it is reiterated that the body of one soldier was found mutilated and beheaded, the body of [the] second soldier was also mutilated during this ceasefire violation on 08 Jan 2013 in Mendhar Sector by Pakistan”.

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