ISLAMABAD/SKARDU/NEW DELHI - Indian troops on Thursday opened unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gultari sector in Siachen.

According to ISPR, Indian army resorted to unwarranted and unprovoked firing near Astore at the Control Line. However, the Indian aggression was met with prompt and effective riposte from Pakistani side which silensed the Indian guns. No loss of life was reported in the Indian firing.

A previous such violation occurred on July 23, resulting in the killing of one person in Shakargarh sector on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control after India’s Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire. According to local sources, the man identified as Iftikhar was shot four times when he accidentally went near the LoC. His body was handed over to Pakistan Rangers after postmortem.

Further, on July 20, one person was killed in Mirajke area along the Pakistani side of the LoC after India’s BSF opened fire.

The firing also left three women and a child injured, who were shifted to Combined Military Hospital Sialkot for medical assistance.

Meanwhile, outgoing Indian army chief General Bikram Singh on Thursday claimed that his men have avenged the alleged beheading of Indian soldiers 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 here.

“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. “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,” he said.

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 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. He also extended his good wishes to his successor Dalbir Singh Suhag and said that the Indian army under him will reach unparalleled heights.

Lt-Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, whose appointment as Indian Army chief had kicked up a row, Thursday 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.

On January 8, 2013, India accused Pakistani forces of beheading an Indian soldier, Hemraj, in the Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir - an incident which further strained the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.