The attack on an Indian Army patrol in January, in which one soldier was beheaded, was carried out by Special Services Group of Pakistan Army, Defence Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha today.
In a written reply to a question in the House, he also said that intelligence reports have indicated that Chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba Hafiz Sayeed had visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir prior to the attack.
“On January 8, 2013 the Special Services Group of Pakistan Army executed an attack on an Indian Army patrol in which two Indian soldiers were killed. One soldier was beheaded in the attack,” he said.
The Defence Minister further informed the House that inputs analysed by Military Intelligence indicate that,”terrorists affiliated to LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammad were involved in the attack”.
“Intelligence reports also indicate that Pakistani terrorists and Chief of LeT Hafiz Sayeed was reported to have visited the LoC areas prior to the attack,” Antony said. In reply to a separate question whether government has announced to consider to award the two soldiers on Republic Day, who were killed in the incident, Antony said, “As on date, no citation/ recommendations pertaining to the specific incident have been received.”
Each year gallantry awards are announced on the eve of Republic Day and Independence Day to recognise the acts performed by the individual beyond call of their duty, he said.
“As per existing procedure, a case for award is initiated by the Unit and forwarded to Service HQs duly recommended by the Commanders in chain for consideration by their Honours and Awards Committee. If the case if found fit, the same is forwarded to the Defence Ministry for further consideration by the government,” he said.
In reply to a question on clashes along the international boundaries of the country, the Defence Minister said 188 such incidents have taken place along the LoC and International Border (IB) in last three years.
According to the figures provided by the Defence Ministry, 2012 saw maximum number of 93 such incidents. In 2011 and 2010, 51 and 44 such incidents took place respectively. 29 casualties were reported in these incidents, Antony said.
“All ceasefire violations with Pakistan are approximately retaliated through return of fire/protested through established mechanism of hotl ines, flag meetings and Director General of Military Operations Talks etc,” he said.