Army Chief briefs Antony

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army_bikramNew Delhi, August 8, 2013: Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Thursday briefed Defence Minister A K Antony on the issue of killing of five soldiers on the Line of Control in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Based on the briefing by the Army Chief, Mr. Antony is expected to make a statement in both Houses of Parliament on the issue, sources said here.

Mr. Antony had on Wednesday told the Parliament that he was awaiting an update on the situation from the Army Chief.

The Army Chief was in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday to review the security situation along the LoC. Gen. Singh had reviewed the security situation at Akhnoor-based 10 Division with commanders of the forward areas. The Army Chief will revisit the area soon.

Mr. Antony had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday against the backdrop of controversy over his statement that the soldiers were killed by “terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform”.

Mr. Antony has come under severe attack for the statement, with Opposition saying it amounted to giving an escape route to Pakistan which has always been in a denial mode on involvement of its army personnel in any act against India.

He sought to defend his statement, saying it was made on the basis of information received at that time.

In a provocative attack, a group of 20 heavily-armed men entered 450 metres into the Indian territory in Poonch sector on Tuesday and ambushed a patrol, killing five Indian soldiers.

The five jawans killed were 35-year-old Naik Prem Nath of Chappra (Bihar), 29-year-old Lance Naik Shambhu Saran of Bhojpur (Bihar), 27-year-old Sepoy Vijay Kumar Rai of Patna (Bihar), 23-year-old Sepoy Ragunandan of Chhapra (Bihar) and 36-year-old Naik Pundalik Mane of Kolhapur (Maharashtra).

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