Beheaded jawans cremated in a hurry
August 07, 2011 1:22:34 AM
Reporters: Khursheed Wani/Sunil Kumar/ Rajendra Markuna
Militants didn’t mutilate, says Army; doesn’t let families see bodies
Two badly mutilated bodies of soldiers have raised passion in the rank and file of the Army against heavily-armed infiltrators who have increased frequency of attempts to sneak into the Kashmir valley to perpetuate acts of violence.
The Army says that the bodies were mutilated in a fierce gunfight in Farkian Gali sector of Kupwara on July 30. But some reports claim that the infiltrators caught hold of the soldiers of the Kumaon Regiment, beheaded them and took away their heads as war trophies before badly mutilating the bodies. The infiltrator group hasn’t been identified so far, sources maintained.
The family members of Hawaldar Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh, whose headless bodies were sent to their native places, were not allowed to see the mutilated bodies.
Though Jaipal Singh Adhikari’s family members were inconsolable when his completely wrapped body was brought here by the Army, none knew that there was more to the version handed out to them — that Adhikari was killed in a grenade blast.
With the information of militants having beheaded two Army jawans in Kupwara region, where Adhikari was posted, trickling in, questions are being asked if Adhikari was one of them. Thirty six-year-old Adhikari was a native of Asgola village, Dwarahat in Almora. He joined the Army in 1994. Jaipal’s family including his wife Beena and two children had recently shifted to Himmatpur, Talla, Haldwani. He was about to join his family in August.
Pushpesh Tripathi, MLA from Dwarahat, who was present during the cremation, told The Pioneer that the ‘body’ which was brought in the casket did not even have limbs.
“Army authorities told the martyr’s father about the unfortunate death and took his permission for token cremation, which was done with full State honours,” said Tripathi.
The defence spokesman claimed that four infiltrators were also shot down while they tried to escape into Pakistan, their bodies were spotted on the other side of LoC but they could not be retrieved by the Army.
“The entire group of infiltrators has been pushed back and their bid foiled,” the spokesman claimed. However, sources said the infiltrators had enough time to catch hold of the soldiers and mutilate their bodies.
Defence spokesman Lt Col Jagmohan Singh Brar conceded that the bodies were badly mutilated but denied the claim that they were beheaded and heads taken away as war trophies by the militants.
“There was a fierce gun-battle at the LoC in which two soldiers died on the spot while another critically injured soldier, who was evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, succumbed later,” he said. “When a soldier receives a full burst of fire from an automatic weapon, everyone knows what happens to the body,” he said, explaining the gory state of the bodies.
Brar said that the frequency of infiltration bids had increased during past two weeks as infiltrators were making efforts to enter the Valley before the onset of winter season. Defence sources said July and August are the choicest months for infiltrators to redouble their efforts to infiltrate as the mountain passes have least or zero accumulation of snow.
Army says that it is fully geared up to face the challenge of infiltration. Earlier this week, Army Chief Gen VK Singh along-with Northern Commander Lt Gen Parnaik and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen Syed Atta Hasnain visited forward posts to check preparedness to block the ingress of heavily-armed militants.
Sources said the Army has launched a massive combing operation along the Line of Control in the twin border districts of Kupwara and Baramulla following reports of fresh infiltration bids by militants in smaller groups. Sources said around 50 infiltrators sneaked in during past two weeks and the Army is trying to engage and eliminate them in areas closer to the LoC.
The latest two infiltration bids were made on August 5 but the Army foiled them at the cost of death of a jawan in Kupwara. During the two weeks, amid enhanced frequency of infiltration attempts, four infiltrators and five soldiers including a junior officer were killed.
Relatives and other locals joined the Adhikari family in mourning the death of the Uttarakhand native as did military personnel, representatives from the local administrative and social activists.
Some reports claim that infiltrators caught hold of two soldiers of the Kumaon Regiment, beheaded them and took away their heads as war trophies before badly mutilating the bodies.
Army says the bodies were mutilated in a fierce gunfight in Farkian Gali sector of Kupwara on July 30.
Defence spokesman claims that four infiltrators were also shot down while they tried to escape into Pakistan; their bodies were spotted on the other side of the LoC but they could not be retrieved by the Army.
Dwarahat MLA Pushpesh Tripathi, who was present during the cremation, told The Pioneer that the ‘body’ which was brought in the casket did not even have limbs.