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Jan 09, 2013 at 11:17am IST

Ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops provocative, says government

New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has reacted strongly to the ceasefire violation by Pakistan. Calling it a provocative action, the Defence Ministry in a statement said, "The government of India considers the incident as a provocative action and we condemn it. DGMOs the two countries are in touch over it. The government will take up the incident with the Pakistan government. We expect Islamabad to honour the ceasefire agreement strictly."

This came after a group of Pakistan Army soldiers raided across the Line of Control in Mendhar Sector and killed two Indian soldiers and injured one more. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid called it an 'absolutely unacceptable' incident. "It is Absolutely Unacceptable, seems like a clear attempt to derail dialogue. Ghastly incident. This is inhuman. Extremely Myopic by Pakistan. This is not how civilized people behave, specially a neighbour .Extremely distressing. We need answers from Pakistani side. We will take it up," Khurshid said.

ALSO SEE Pak troops cross LoC, kill two Indian soldiers, mutilate the body of one of them

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari tweeted, "Pakistan must respect rules of engagement and the ceasefire agreement. How can we tolerate mutilation of our braves. Redlines must be drawn."

In a major escalation to the ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts, a group of Pakistan Army soldiers raided across the Line of Control in Mendhar Sector and killed two Indian soldiers and injured one more. The Pakistani troops attacked an area domination patrol party of the Indian Army. In the ensuing gunfight two Indian soldiers were killed and the body of one of them was mutilated by the intruders.

ALSO SEE Poonch ceasefire violation: Pak denies allegations

In a statement, the Army said, "A group of their regular soldiers intruded across the Line of Control in the Mendhar Sect on 08 Jan 2013. Pakistan Army troops, having taken advantage of thick fog and mist in the forested area, were moving towards own posts when an alert area domination patrol spotted and engaged the intruders. The fire fight between Pakistan and own troops continued for approximately half an hour after which the intruders retreated back towards their side of Line of Control."

The statement added, "This is yet another grave provocation by Pakistan Army which is being taken up sternly through official channels.

"(There has been) a significant escalation to the continuing series of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts supported by Pakistan Army."

The ceasefire violation is the second in two days. On January 6, the Pakistani troops had fired mortar shells towards Indian Army posts in Uri sector near the Line of Control.

"They (Pakistan Army) started firing mortar shells towards our posts at Churunda village in Uri sector around 3.15 am," an Army spokesman said. He said some of the shells landed close to civilian habitation but there was no damage done.

Reacting upon the Poonch incident, Pakistan military officials denied that the attack had been uprovoked. The Ministry of External Affairs, however, hit back, saying, "We deny that Indian forces violated the ceasefire and did infiltration. The sanctity of ceasefire on LoC should be upheld."

Former Army chief General VP Malik said the incident was serious and could escalate. "This is a very serious incident that has taken place. There is likelihood of this escalating also."

In last about one month, Pakistan Army has violated the ceasefire agreement nearly a dozen times. Most of these firing incidents were in Rajouri, Uri and Keran sector to help infiltration attempts, Army officials said.

(With additional information from PTI)