Pakistan’s BAT Troops Mutilate Indian Army Jawan Along LoC
Intercepts with Indian agencies also report about two casualties of SSG commandoes on the Pakistan side.
At 7:38 pm on Monday, 16 December, the Indian Army informed the media about a 'suspicious movement' in the Laleali village of Sunderbani sector of Jammu & Kashmir.
"As the suspicious movement was challenged by own troops, initially it was retaliated by fire and then a heavy explosion took place followed by heavy firing from Pakistan to support the suspicious movement," the brief statement by the Indian Army read on the fluid situation.
The Indian Army did not reveal details of the suspicious movement observed around the Line of Control (LoC) at Sunderbani but at 8:56 pm broke the news about a casualty in the "ongoing heavy exchange of fire".
It was only on Tuesday afternoon at 2:47 pm that the Indian Army, in a statement, identified the martyr as 21-year-old Rifleman Sukhwinder Singh, who they said attained martyrdom in the exchange of fire.
"Rifleman Sukhwinder Singh was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty," the statement by Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, PRO, Jammu, read without giving details of nature of injuries received.
Multiple sources within the Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir and New Delhi have now confirmed to this journalist about a BAT (Border Action Team) Action by Pakistan on the LoC in Sunderbani Sector on Monday evening around dusk. The BAT action resulted in mutilation but the extent of the mutilation hasn't been officially confirmed yet.
"Yes. There was a BAT action which was followed by an IED blast and firing," a senior officer of the Indian Army who didn't want to be identified confirmed.
Two sources within the intelligence wing of the Indian Army also confirmed about BAT action and mutilation during the Sunderbani operation on condition of anonymity. Sources also confirmed that a call had been taken about not reporting the brutal details of the attack.
Intercepts with Indian agencies also report about two casualties of SSG commandoes on the Pakistan side as retaliation to the BAT action. Indian Army, however, hasn't officially released details of retaliatory action and casualties on Pakistan side after the BAT attack.
Stark Reminder of January 2013
Official comment on the BAT attack by Pakistan on Monday evening from the Indian Army top brass is awaited.
BAT or the Border Action Team of Pakistan mainly comprises a mix of Special Service Group (SSG) commandoes of the Pakistan Army along with highly trained Islamist terrorists. Multiple layers of training for over a year by Pakistan Army and the Air Force prepares the BAT for cross-border raids near the LoC.
The latest barbaric act is a stark reminder of 8 January 2013, when BAT Action by Pakistan led to killing and beheading of Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh at the Line of Control.
The incident at Sona Gali of Mendhar sector of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir led to massive protests across the country. Several incidents of BAT action have been reported over the years in Jammu and Kashmir from Rajouri, Poonch, Gurez, Tangdhar and Keran sectors.
On 1 May 2017, the BAT yet again attacked two Indian soldiers – Prem Sagar and Naib Subedar Paramjit Singh – in the Krishna Ghati sector of LoC.
(Aditya Raj Kaul has a decade long experience in covering conflict, internal security and foreign policy for various national media outlets. He tweets at @AdityaRajKaul.)
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