Tempers are running high among soldiers deployed along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch, where Pakistan soldiers brutally murdered two Indian army personnel on January 8. They want the political leadership to take an immediate decision, allowing them to seek revenge through an all-out offensive.
"We are also capable to doing what they have done. But, being a disciplined force, our hands are tied. The political establishment, however, should understand our sensibilities after this ghastly and inhuman incident. They should allow us to take revenge," said sepoy Jasbir, deployed along the LoC in Rajouri's Nowshera sector.
The soldiers feel that the Centre is going soft on the issue despite repeated provocations by Pakistan, which has resulted in many a casualty to the army.
"Pakistan is continuously violating the ceasefire, and we are only reacting to them. I fail to understand why the government is soft-peddling on the issue. It is becoming intolerable, they must give us the green signal for all out-offensive," said Raj Singh, deployed in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch.
The soldiers want a repeat of a February 2000 offensive, which was launched after a group led by Illayas Kashmir —a Pakistani soldier-turned-terrorist — intruded into Nowshera sector of Rajouri and beheaded a jawan of the Mahar regiment. Back then, the army had retaliated by crossing the border and causing similar casualties to the Pakistan army.
“If we could take retaliatory action 12 years ago, what is holding us back now? Something must be done to respect our anger and feelings. We can't take things lying down,” another sepoy said.
While senior army officials can understand the sentiments of the jawans, they do not want to act in a brash manner. "We know how they feel. It will not go unanswered, and we will take action. I can't say when it will be done, but it will surely happen," said a senior army official posted in Poonch.
(The names of the soldiers have been changed to protect their identities)