Slain intruder turns out to be Pak Army jawan

Slain intruder turns out to be Pak Army jawan

15 February 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: An infiltrator in combat dress, who was yesterday shot dead by Army in Lam area of Nowshera sector in Rajouri district yesterday afternoon and was believed to be a militant, today turned out to be a regular Pakistan Army soldier. After Director Generals Military Operations (DGMOs) level talks between India and Pakistan, body of the jawan was handed over to Pakistan Army officials by the Indian authorities in Lam sector this evening, official sources said. Slain Pakistan Army jawan has been identified as Mohammad Ikhlaq, 26, posted with 60 Punjab, a unit deployed at Khui Ratta opposite Lam area of Nowshera sector in Pakistan. Mystery shrouded the intrusion of Pakistan Army jawan about 200 meters inside the Indian territory at about 3 pm yesterday. As the troops presumed him as militant in combat dress, both sides exchanged firing in which he was killed. One AK-47 rifle and one magazine were recovered from the possession of slain person. Suspecting the intruder as a militant, the troops had handed over his body to police for completion of legal formalities and burial. However, this morning the Pakistan Army DGMO requested for an unscheduled conversation with his Indian counterpart Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia and rang him up. The Pakistan Army DGMO confirmed that the intruder was a Pakistan Army soldier and also gave his identity as Mohammad Ikhlaq of 60 Punjab. The Pakistan DGMO made a request for return of the body, which was accepted by his Indian counterpart. Sources said body of the Army jawan was handed over to Pakistan Army officers, who were led by Lt Col Hamaad, Commanding Officer of 60 Punjab, at 5.30 pm at Lam sector of Nowshera tehsil in Rajouri district. Six other Army officers of 60 Punjab accompanied Lt Col Hamaad. Col Sanjeev Verma, Commanding Officer of 5 Sikh Li, Additional SP Nowshera and other Army officers headed the Indian side, which handed over the body to Pakistan. Authorities had prepared an inventory of the items seized from the Pakistan Army jawan, which were handed over to 60 Punjab officials. The items included one AK-56 rifle, 15 rounds, one magazine and one buoynet. Sources said post-mortem was not conducted on Pakistan Army jawan on this side though the body had been shifted to hospital last evening. The post-mortem was to be conducted this morning but before that the Indian side got a message from Pakistan that the infiltrator was their Army soldier. Though Pakistan Army side has claimed that their jawan had entered into Indian side inadvertently, the sources didn’t rule out any mischief by Pakistan especially in the wake of January 8 incident at Mankote in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district. On January 8, Pakistan Army jawans had intruded inside the Indian territory at Mankote and brutally killed two Indian Army soldiers. They had taken away the head of one of the jawans-Lance Naik Hem Raj, which was not returned. However, Indian Army showed the gesture and returned body of Pakistan Army jawan with full respects as soon as the Pakistan Army DGMO confirmed his identity and claimed the body. Sources wounded that if Pakistan Army jawan had inadvertently crossed the border then why did he open firing causing injuries to Indian Army jawan Sepoy Major Singh. 'Some mischief by Pakistan Army in the intrusions by two jawans was not ruled out’’, they said. As reported today, there was another ceasefire violation in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district last night when Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian posts between 8 pm to 9 pm. 'There were no casualties on our side. Our troops retaliated the fire in controlled measure with effective fix,' sources said.