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Jaish-e-Mohammed may be behind Indian soldier’s mutilation: Intel agencies

india Updated: Oct 29, 2016 23:46 IST
Shishir Gupta
Intelligence agencies

Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar speaks in Islamabad.(AFP File Photo)

Intelligence agencies suspect Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group with the backing of Pakistan Army for the killing and brutal mutilation of 17 Sikh battalion sepoy Mandeep Singh at Machchil sector on Friday evening even as high alert has been sounded along the Line of Control (LoC) for more border action or BAT action by terrorists for the remaining of 2016.

Sepoy Mandeep Singh of 53 Independent Brigade was part of a patrol that left its base at 4 pm in Machchil sector and was ambushed by JeM terrorists around 7.45 pm with Pakistan Army providing fire cover for nearly four hours. The Pakistani Army pounded Indian positions from 4 pm and continued till 8 pm in the evening to facilitate BAT action by JeM terrorists. A Pakistani terrorist was gunned down by the Indian forces in retaliation but his body has still not been recovered.

Read | Family of soldier martyred at LoC demands ‘decisive action’ against Pakistan

Top government sources said that some 250-300 terrorists of both JeM and largely Lashkar-e-Tayyebba (LeT) are waiting in depth beyond the launching pads to infiltrate across the LoC for taking on the security forces. Indian national security establishment has discussed the possibility of a BAT action by Pak terrorists along the LoC after September 28-29 surgical strikes by Indian special forces in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Indian Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh had alerted the Northern Command on the possibility of such action.

Post Indian surgical strikes, a total of one Army trooper, three BSF soldiers and three civilians have been killed in cross border and LoC firing and mortar shelling by Pakistani Army. Nineteen personal of the security forces and 41 civilians have been injured in the unprovoked firing and shelling that has affected more than 150 villages along the international border in Jammu. While the Pakistani focus is on 125 Hindu dominated villages in Jammu, one person has been killed and another 9 have been injured from the minority community out of a total of 41 injured.

Read | Grief grips village of soldier mutilated at LoC, leaders condemn act

Home Ministry reports indicate all the 101 BSF/Army posts have been targeted by Pakistani Army since September 28-29 with Uri and Machchil sector pounded by enemy mortars since surgical strikes. The Pakistani Army is firing across the IB and LoC with heavy machine guns and 82 inch mortars to facilitate infiltration by pinning down Indian security forces.