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Take back bodies of your soldiers, India tells Pakistan

Photo for representation   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The Army has offered Pakistan to take back the bodies of their Border Action Team (BAT) personnel lying in Indian territory, Army sources said on Sunday. The situation along the Line of Control (LoC) remained largely calm during the day except for sporadic small arms fire.

“Pakistan army was contacted by the Army on Saturday evening to retrieve the bodies of their personnel in the Keran sector for last rites. It is yet to respond,” an Army source said. The bodies are lying in the open, he added.

The Army said it had foiled a BAT attempt on Saturday and in the ensuing exchange of fire inflicted heavy casualties on the infiltrating team. 

“Bodies of 5-7 possibly Pakistan regulars or Special Service Group (SSG) commandos along with maybe some terrorists have been seen on our side of LoC close to our posts,” Army officials said. Many BAT members fled taking advantage of the bad weather, they said.

According to Army sources, there had been a spurt in the infiltration attempts and BAT actions in the last few days which they said had been foiled.

“There have been about 4-5 infiltration attempts and 3-4 BAT attempts,” one officer said.

Humanitarian offer

On the offer on the bodies, a senior Army source said, “It is unlikely that Pakistan will accept the humanitarian offer. It is not surprising because they had done the same with many of their fallen soldiers of the northern light infantry in Kargil, hidden dozens of bodies and tents in Balakot. The list of denials is endless,” the source said.

There was also heavy firing including artillery by the Pakistan Army during the infiltration and the BAT attempts to provide cover, sources added.

 This prompted the Army to use the heavy 155mm Bofors artillery guns briefly a few days back.

“Bofors were used once a few days back, but after that we didn’t feel the need to use them again,” another source said. They were used on the LoC after close to a decade and half.

Calibre escalation or usage of heavier calibre weapons does take place during such ceasefire violations, officials said as “each side aims at ensuring it’s moral ascendancy and domination over the LoC” but reiterated that the Army ensures that targets are only military and the terrorists who are supported by the Pakistan Army.

Mere propaganda, says Pakistan’s 

Pakistan’s Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) quickly denied any “cross LoC action by Pakistan” and called the possession of bodies by India as “mere propaganda.”

“Such blatant lies/staged dramas are Indian disinformation manoeuvre to divert world attention from increased atrocities by Indian occupation forces inside Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K),” DG ISPR said in a tweet.

On Saturday, as heavy exchange of fire was under way, the DG ISPR alleged that the Indian Army had used cluster bombs along the LoC which was quickly denied by India as yet another “Pakistan’s lie, deceit and deception”.


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Printable version | Jul 21, 2021 7:54:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-asks-pakistan-army-to-take-back-bodies-of-bat-squad/article28812768.ece

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