Delivering a very strong message to the country’s hostile neighbour, the outgoing Army chief General Bikram Singh on Thursday said that his men have avenged the beheading of Indian jawans by the Pakistani troops last year.
“We have responded to Pakistan at a tactical level to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in future,” Gen Singh said during a farewell ceremony held.
“We are carrying out tactical operations at the LoC. It is an ongoing process and our soldiers are doing their job…,” General Bikram Singh added.
When pressed by the reporters to elaborate on the issue, Gen Singh said, “It was done by the local commanders.”
On the use of force against Pakistan, he said, “We have always responded to Pakistan at the tactical level on the borders. Use of force has been from tactical to operational to strategic level.”
Gen Singh also praised the 1.3 million strong Indian Army and said that it is prepared to take on any challenge.
“Indian soldiers are prepared for the line of duty, up for any challenge,” Bikram Singh said.
The outgoing Army Chief also extended his good wishes to his successor Dalbir Singh Suhag and said that the Indian Army under him will reach unparalleled heights.
“Army is a robust organisation, very accountable, very responsive, very potent and a very relevant instrument of national power with the capability to take up any challenges,” the outgoing army chief said.
Lt. Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, whose appointment as Army chief had kicked up a row, today took over as the next head of the 1.3 million strong force succeeding General. Bikram Singh.
Gen Singh also visited the Amar Jawan Jyoti before demitting office.
After paying tribute to the martyred Indian soldiers, Gen Singh wrote a few words in the visitor’s book before departing from the venue.
On January 8, 2013, an Indian soldier Hemraj was beheaded by the Pakistani troops in the Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir – an incident which further strained the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.
Gen Bikram Singh had then warned Pakistan, saying India reserves the right to retaliate at the “time and place” of its choosing.
Gen Singh also said the beheading was “unacceptable” and “most unpardonable” and the troops would respond immediately, aggressively and offensively if provoked.