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Army chief meets Lance Naik Sudhakar''s family in MP

Army chief meets Lance Naik Sudhakar''s family in MPSidhi (Madhya Pradesh), Jan. 18 : Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh, met the family members of martyred Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh at his native village Dadhiya in Madhya Pradesh''s Sidhi District today.

General Bikram Singh had earlier on Wednesday paid homage and met the family members of Lance Naik Hemraj at Shernagar village of Uttar Pradesh''s Mathura District, amid demands that the severed head of the martyred soldier be brought back.

General Singh along with his wife Surjeet Kaur and top army commanders conveyed their condolences to the family of Hemraj.

"I have come here to express solidarity with martyr''s family. All their demands will be met according to the rulebook of the Army. We will stand by the family," said General Singh.

"We don''t violate ceasefire, but will fire back when fired upon," he added, while commenting on continuous ceasefire violation by Pakistan on Line of Control (LoC).

General Singh has earlier warned Pakistan that India reserves the right to retaliate at the time and place of its choosing.

Terming as ''barbaric'' the brutal killing of Indian jawans along the Line of Control, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had earlier on Tuesday said ''there cannot be business as usual with Islamabad''.

"After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan. Pakistan must be held accountable for what happened on the LoC. Hope Pakistan will bring the perpetrators of beheading to justice. The future peace process depends on Pakistan," he said.

Tension between the two Asian neighbours has escalated ever since Indian jawan Lance Naik Hemraj was beheaded in an attack by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control on January 8.

India has lodged a strong protest against the ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC and made it clear to it that the Army reserves the right to retaliate if provoked.

The Army''s position was conveyed at a brigadier-level flag meeting between the two sides at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing-point in Poonch sector of the Jammu region on Monday.

On January 8, the two soldiers - Lance Naiks Sudhakar Singh and Hemraj Singh were killed near the LoC by Pakistani troops. The jawans belonged to the 13 Rajputana Rifles.

Pakistan has denied India''s claim that its troops crossed the Line of Control to ambush a patrol party in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district. (ANI)