Pakistan has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces mutilated Indian sources
Tensions in Kashmir increasing amid ban on social media use in the region
India has summoned Pakistan’s top representative in the country over allegations Pakistani forces mutilated two Indian soldiers in the disputed border region of Kashmir.
In a statement Wednesday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the “foreign secretary conveyed India’s outrage at the killing and the barbaric act of mutilation of the bodies of two Indian soldiers on May 1.”
Pakistan has repeatedly denied that its troops crossed the Line of Control (LOC) – the de-facto border between the two countries in Kashmir – or mutilated the soldiers.
‘Trail of blood’
According to India, the two soldiers were killed in an attack following artillery fire from Pakistani posts near the village of Battal which struck along the LOC.
The soldiers were identified as Paramjit Singh and Prem Sagar. They had been part of a nine-member patrol team, according to K.N. Choubey of the Border Security Force.
Wednesday’s statement said a trail of blood showed that the people who killed the soldiers returned along the LOC.
India’s government “demands that Pakistan take immediate action against its soldiers and commanders responsible for this heinous act,” the statement said.
Indian army Lt. Gen. Sarath Chand said at an event Tuesday any retaliation by Indian troops would be done “at the time and place of our choosing.”
In a statement Tuesday, Pakistan’s army said the country “remains fully committed to maintaining peace and tranquility along the LOC and expect same from other side and hope prudence is exercised.”
The army described the mutilation allegations as “baseless and unfounded” and accused India of attempting to “divert the attention” of the world from the situation in the Kashmir valley.
Tensions rising in Kashmir
Monday’s attack has raised tensions in Kashmir, which saw sporadic violence late last year following an attack by Pakistani militants on an Indian army base which left 19 soldiers dead.
Shortly after, India responded with “surgical strikes,” which it said targeted terrorist cells across the de-facto border shared with Pakistan in Kashmir.
Pakistan criticized its neighbor Tuesday for “continuously targeting innocent civilians” in the region, adding that continued incidents would result in an “appropriate response.”
On Wednesday, a group of 47 Pakistani students aged 10 to 14 on a tour to India were sent back home, canceling their cultural exchange program organized with a Delhi-based NGO.
Speaking at a regular briefing, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said this was “not an appropriate time for such exchanges.”
Last week, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir imposed a month-long block on 22 social media and instant messaging services for citizens living in disputed regions of Kashmir, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Skype, according to a government notice.
The notice said the services were “being misused by anti-national and anti-social elements” in the region to disturb “peace and tranquility.”
Internet service in Kashmir has been sporadic for years and is subject to frequent blackouts and throttling.
CNN’s James Griffiths contributed to this report.