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Arun Jaitley rejects Pakistan Army denial of beheadings of soldiers

India has told Pakistan that blood samples of beheaded Indian soldiers and a blood trail near the Line of Control (LoC) prove its complicity while Pakistan denied the involvement of its Army in any such activity.

Meanwhile, defence minister Arun Jaitley has asked citizens to trust the capability of the Indian Army to respond to the outrage.

Speaking after a meeting of the Cabinet as well as the Cabinet Committee on Security, Jaitley said, "Aap apni fauj per bharosa rakhiye (Have faith in your Army)." This was in response to media queries on possible options in dealing with a Pakistan Army unit killing and mutilating the bodies of two Indian soldiers.

Rejecting Pakistan's denials, Jaitley said, "The denial itself carries no credibility, the entire gambit of circumstances where the killing and then mutilation was carried out near a heavily guarded border shows the active participation of the (Pakistan) army. Cover firing to those who carried out the attack with posts within a few metres of each other cannot happen without the indulgence of the Pakistan army."

Earlier, Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned by foreign secretary S Jaishankar+ to inform him of the anger and outrage in India over the barbaric act of Pakistani troops. Tensions rose further with Pakistan detaining more Indian fishermen and India insisting that it has evidence to establish the hand of the Pakistan army in the beheadings near the LoC.

MEA spokesperson Gopal Bagley said, "It was significant that the attack was preceded by covering fire from Pakistani posts in the Battal sector. Blood samples of the Indian soldiers that have been collected and the trail of blood on Roza Nala (near LoC) clearly shows that people from Pakistan occupied Kashmir returned across the LOC."

Basit expectedly denied any Pakistan complicity but said he would convey the sentiments and viewpoints expressed by the Indian foreign secretary, Baglay said. Questioned how India could be certain that the blood trail pointed to Pakistani involvement and whether DNA evidence had been gathered and analysed, Baglay said two sets of blood samples have been found. One set belonged to Indian soldiers and a trail also went back across the Roza Nala to the LoC.

It's not yet clear whether some Pakistani soldiers were injured in the fight. "Those who came from across the LoC did not come from Pakistan, but Pak-occupied Kashmir. It's obvious they returned to where they came from. The trail of blood is of Pakistanis who came across, in this case personnel of the Pakistani army," he said.

This proved, MEA said, that the killers had come from across the LoC and had returned. According to Baglay, India is certain that the infiltration took place in the Krishna Ghati sector, and second, that perpetrators were Pakistan army personnel. The action was preceded by heavy artillery shelling as cover fire in the Battal area on the Indian side of the LoC.

Basit, who was served a toughly worded demarche by Jaishankar, met him for a few minutes at noon.