The killing and mutilation of the bodies of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control on Monday has triggered shock and anger in the country but the outrage is more intense in Sher Nagar, a village in Mathura.
The incident has revived the memories of January 8, 2013 when Lance Naik Hemraj, hailing from Sher Nagar village, was beheaded by Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) along the Indo-Pak border.
The day Lance Naik Hemraj was cremated, leaders from all political parties visited the village to pay tribute to the soldier. All of them promised that a befitting reply would be given to Pakistan so that such incidents did not take place in future.
However, the Monday’s incident in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district in J&K has come as a rude shock to the villagers who say it has added insult to their injury.
“Enough is enough. It is high time we taught a lesson to Pakistan which continues to violate human rights with impunity,” says Jai Singh, brother of Lance Naik Hemraj.
Jai Singh is employed in the state revenue department.
Pooran Singh, another brother of the soldier, feels timely action after Hemraj’s killing in 2013 could have averted the repeat of the gruesome incident.
“Rajnath Singh, who is the Union home minister now, had visited the village after Hemraj’s killing in 2013. He had promised that 10 soldiers of Pakistan army would be beheaded to avenge the death of one Indian solidier,” he recalls.
Meena Devi, mother of Hemraj who had gone on a hunger strike to seek the return of her son’s head after his body was mutilated on the Indo-Pak border, now lives with the memories of her son.
“Talks with Pakistan will not yield any result. It is time for action now,” she says.
Dharam Veer Singh, who was the village pradhan when the body of Lance Naik Hemraj was brought to the village, advocates action instead of words as all warnings for action against Pakistan fall on deaf ears.
“Our jawans are sacrificing their lives to serve their motherland and what are we doing for them? Time has come to settle the issue once and for all,” says Dharam Veer.
Another former village pradhan Babulal Singh says that the party ruling at the Centre is also a part of the government in Jammu & Kashmir but it is unable to check the loss of the lives of army personnel.