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LoC killings: Army chief visits martyr's family

IANS  Mathura, January 16, 2013
First Published: 10:54 IST(16/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:26 IST(16/1/2013)

Army chief general Bikram Singh on Wednesday visited the family of Lance Naik Hemraj, who was beheaded by Pakistani troops.

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"Being the head of the army, I consider them part of my family. (My visit) is an expression of solidarity and concern and (I came) to console the family," general Singh said later.

He assured the family all possible help and support.

Hemraj was one of two Indian soldiers killed by Pakistani troops who breached the Line of Control (LoC) and entered Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on January 8.

The Pakistanis took away his severed head. The other soldier's body was mutilated, according to Indian officials.

"The country, the countrymen, the army are all proud of the sacrifice made by Hemraj. I have assured them (family) that they will get all they are entitled to under rules as fast as possible," the general said.

"All their demands will be considered. Some of their demands deal with improvement of village infrastructure. We will take it up with the state government," he said.

The family has demanded that the soldier's head be returned to them.

The army chief said, "We respect human rights... Our soldiers fired in retaliation to shelling by Pakistani troops on the LoC.

"If a Pakistani soldier has been killed, it may have been in retaliatory firing. We have not crossed the LoC."


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