The new Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on the first day of holding office issued a stern warning to Pakistan referring to alleged beheading incidents of soldiers, stating that the said actions would get an “intense and immediate” response, a report published on the Times of India website said.
The alleged beheading of an Indian soldier, Lance Naik Hemraj, by Pakistani soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector on January 8, 2013 came under highlight.
The newly appointed army chief upon receiving the guard of honour addressed reporters on the occasion and said that there would be timely reciprocation of such incidents.
General Dalbir was asked how the Indian side had given a ‘befitting reply’ to Pakistan over Hemraj's alleged beheading as stated by former army chief General Bikram Singh.
Responding to this, the new army chief gave a confounding explanation on the subject saying: "It has been done. Please understand that when we use force, that use is from tactical to operational to strategic levels.”
The Indian side has accused Pakistani special forces of beheading Hemraj and mutilating the body of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh.
In 2013, a spate of cross-border skirmishes raised tensions between India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.
The Indian army had claimed in January last year that firing by Pakistani troops near the LoC had killed two Indian soldiers, with one’s head allegedly severed and taken away.
Islamabad has repeatedly denied that Pakistani troops have been involved in any attacks, also claiming that India has been using “propaganda” to divert attention from a deadly raid it had conducted on a military post leaving a Pakistani soldier dead and another injured.