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LoC killings: outrage is fine but no to jingoism, says govt

The government today cautioned against 'jingoism' after the BJP upped the ante on the issue of beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani Army along the Line of Control. Bring 10 heads from Pak: Sushma Swaraj

delhi Updated: Jan 15, 2013 14:20 IST

The government on Tuesday warned against jingoism over the escalating border tensions with Pakistan, saying that while the entire country is outraged over the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers on the LoC, the responses should be left to "professionals tasked with the responsibility".

"Expressing outrage is understood, but there is need to keep away from jingoism," information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi.

His statement was in response to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj reportedly saying that if the missing head of an Indian soldier could not be brought back from Pakistan then "at least 10 heads should be brought from their side".

"There is no doubt that the entire country is outraged about the way our armed forces have been treated. However, the response is best left to professionals who are tasked with the responsibility," he said.

"There is need to calm down..There has to be an element of sobriety,' he said.

Tewari also denied any discrepancy in the responses of the government and that of the armed forces to the border tensions, especially with the latter striking a tough line.

"There is no discrepancy at all. We have expressed our concern and outrage. We should leave the response to professionals..which means the national security establishment," he said.

NSA meets BJP leaders

Earlier on the day, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to brief them on developments along the Line of Control (LoC).

The meeting took place at Sushma Swaraj's residence.

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Sushma Swaraj, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, and Jaitley, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, to discuss the situation along the LoC.

Border tensions have escalated sharply since Jan 6 when a Pakistani soldier was killed in alleged firing by Indian forces along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.

Two days later, on Jan 8, Pakistani soldiers killed and mutilated the two Indian soldiers - one of the soldiers was decapitated and his head taken - in Mendhar sector in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

'Bring 10 heads from Pak'

On Monday, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj alleged the government showed lack of respect to the martyr and demanded an apology.

"If Pakistan does not return the head of martyred soldier Hemraj, India should get at least ten heads from the other side," she said on MOnday and asked the Centre to take tough action against that country.

"If his (Hemraj's) head could not be brought back (from Pakistan), we should get at least 10 heads from there side," Swaraj told reporters here after visiting Hemraj's family along with party president Nitin Gadkari and leader Rajnath Singh.

"The question is: will we sit without any reaction and engage in a dialogue? This should not happen. At least the government should react in some way. That is why we have said that government should take some tough measures," she said.

"Today, the nation is demanding don't prove a weak government. They (Pak Army) came on the LoC, killed our soldier and took away his head with them and there should be no reaction...this should not be tolerated at any cost," she said.

"The government should apologise for the apathy. They should apologise to the family of the soldier and the country. But they should at the same time take revenge for the incident which took place," she said.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)