Pakistan's Border Action Team is suspected to have decapitated a porter, who was among two civilians killed along the Line of Control. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Pakistan's Border Action Team is suspected to have decapitated a porter, who was among two civilians killed along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district on Friday, and taken away the head, officials said in Jammu. The body of Mohammad Aslam (28) was badly mutilated and his head was missing, a senior police officer said.
This is the first time that any civilian has been beheaded by the BAT, which comprises Pakistani army regulars and terrorists, though similar incidents involving security personnel have taken place in the past, they said.
Asked about the killings by Pakistan, Army Chief Gen M M Naravane said on Saturday that professional armies never resort to "barbaric" acts and they "will deal appropriately with such situations in a military manner".
A defence spokesman had earlier said that Aslam and Altaf Hussain (23), both residents of Kassalian village of Gulpur sector, were killed and three others injured after being hit by a mortar shell when Pakistani Army targeted a group of Army porters who were carrying logistics for the troops in a forward area close the LoC on Friday.
However, officials said on Saturday that the head of one of the porters was missing and is believed to have been taken away by the BAT.
"The body of Aslam was headless when handed over to police for completion of legal formalities. The bodies of both the porters were handed over to their families and their last rites were conducted in their village on Friday evening," the police officer said on condition of anonymity.
He said the injured porters -- Mohamamd Saleem (24), Mohammad Showkat (28) and Nawaz Ahmad (35) -- are undergoing treatment in the hospital and their condition is stated to be "stable".
"We will deal appropriately with such situations in a military manner," Gen Naravane said when asked about the incident at a press conference in Delhi ahead of the Army Day.
He said the Indian Army conducts itself in the most professional and ethical manner including on the LoC. "Professional armies never resort to barbaric acts," he said.
The opposition Congress strongly condemned the killings and questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were "silent" on the "barbarism" by Pakistan.
"Is the news of martyrdom run taking into account the government in power?" Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. "When will Pakistan's cowardly acts be given a befitting reply? 10 heads for 1 when? Surjewala said on Twitter.