On May 1, 2017, two Indian soldiers were killed and their bodies were mutilated along the Line of Control, said the Army's Northern Command while promising to "appropriately respond" to the "despicable act".
It was reported that the Pakistani side opened fire on the Indian posts in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District, and members of their Border Action Team (BAT) attacked a patrol party.
Following the killing of the two soldiers, Head Constable Prem Sagar of the Border Security Force and Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh, India vowed to take revenge for their killing and mutilation of the dead bodies. While all fingers point at Pakistani forces, the Pakistan Army has been denying any involvement in the barbaric incident.
The Pakistani side responded calling India's allegation "false." The Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), which is Pakistani army's media wing, said in a statement, "Pakistan Army is a highly professional force and shall never disrespect a soldier, even Indian."
According to details, "Around 8.30 a.m. an army jawan and a constable of the Border Security Force were on patrol between two forward posts when Pakistan fired rockets and mortar bombs. Pakistan's Border Action Team crossed the Line of Control, the de facto border between the two countries, and ambushed the patrol team. It did not breach the wire fence that India uses as a boundary. The Pakistan army also kept up heavy firing at the Line of Control. When the patrol team took cover, Head Constable Prem Sagar of the Border Security Force and Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of the army were left behind. They were killed and their bodies were mutilated."
Responding to this horrific incident, the Indian army's Northern Command said, "In an unsoldierly act by the Pak Army, the bodies of two of our soldiers in the patrol were mutilated. Such despicable act of Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded." The incident was condemned across India. Union Minister Arun Jaitley described the killings as "reprehensible and inhuman" and said such acts "do not take place even during war."
There are concerns that the ties between the two already hostile nations will worsen. The two countries have been dealing with their strained relations. This incident comes at a time when the two countries are struggling to resolve issues related to ceasefire violations, terror attacks in Kashmir and more importantly, the handing down of death sentence to an alleged Indian 'spy' Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2016.
India-Pakistan relations are marked by an all time low. This dastardly act is not something new. Pakistan has been involved in such incidents in the past. In 2016, at least 18 soldiers were killed, two of them beheaded, when Pakistani troops fired and indulged in shelling across the LoC.
As tensions mount on both sides, what needs to be seen is India's reaction to the killings of the two soldiers. Will India retaliate militarily or will the two take a diplomatic recourse?