JCO dead on LoC,no clue on who killed him

The mystery over the death raised tensions in the area.

Written by Manu Pubby | New Delhi | Published: October 29, 2013 3:17 am

With no clarity on how an Indian soldier died on the LoC in the Uri sector during a night patrol,there was tension on the border and doubts on the sequence of events on Monday,a day after the incident.

JCO Prakash Chander from Uttarakhand was leading an area domination patrol of the 8 Kumaon along the LoC when he died past midnight. Subsequently,there were differing statements and the cause of death is still to be ascertained as,in an unusual move,the body has not yet been given to civilian authorities for an autopsy.

First reports on Monday morning said the Indian side came under heavy fire from Pakistani posts and that the ceasefire violations lasted for over an hour. An Army spokesperson attributed the soldier’s death to this firing.

“Our area domination patrol came under fire at approximately 12.15 am in the proximity of the LoC in the Uri sector. One JCO was killed,” the Army spokesperson said,without elaborating.

However,by Monday evening it was clear there were no ceasefire violations or exchange of fire in Uri,normally a peaceful sector. Sources said the patrol was not targeted from a Pakistani posts and two other possibilities were being considered.

One,that the patrol was targeted by a militant from the other side or that an IED or mine had exploded. The other is that it could be a case of friendly fire.

However,with the body not being given for an autopsy,the nature of the injury is yet to be ascertained and the Army is reluctant to share details about whether the death was caused by a bullet or something else.

In the past,there have been instances when handing over a body was delayed due to operational reasons. But there was no gun battle after the JCO’s death and the body has been with the Army since Sunday night.

The mystery over the death raised tensions in the area and the weekly bus service connecting Srinagar to Muzaffarabad was suspended Monday as the incident took place near the Kaman border post.

The bus has to cross the post to enter Pakistani territory.

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