Not informed about son’s sacrifice for hours, came to know from social media: Martyr Varun Katal’s family alleges

TNN Bureau. Updated: 11/14/2018 4:53:04 PM Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu, Nov 14: Advocating befitting and effective reply to Pakistan in view of rising incidents of sniping along the Line of Control, the family of martyred jawan Rifleman Varun Katal alleged that they were not informed about the martyrdom of their son by the Army authorities even hours after his death and they came to know about an incident through social media.
“The family of martyred Varun Katal is shattered and what more aghast them was that they were not informed about an incident on time,” Uncle Jagdev Singh here said.
He said that the family came to know about his martyrdom through social media, which was unfortunate on part of the Army officials.
Singh, who himself is a retired army person, said that those who are at helm of affairs, should not delay in informing the parents though handle the situation tactfully but on time before they come to know about it from someone else.
Pertinent to mention that in the past one week, four soldiers have been martyred along the LoC by sniping shots from across the border.
On November 10, Rifl9eman Varun Katal of Samba was martyred in Sunderbani Sector, on November 11, Naik Gosawi Keshav was shot by the sniping in Nowshera, on November 12, Lance Naik Antony Sebestian suffered fatal injury in the firing and one jawan suffered injury.
“Such incidents are happening to demoralise our forces so that Pakistan succeed in infiltrating terrorists on this side of the border,” a defence expert said adding that it is a collective conspiracy of Pakistani Army’s Commandoes and ISI.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat at Mamum Cantonment on Monday had said, “snipping has been a regular affair and there is nothing new in this. The Pakistani army has got sniper and we also have. Whenever you get an opportunity and find that there is little bit of exposure by any solider, anywhere snipping will happen, so we are focused that our drills are good and we don’t give them the opportunity”.
“I do not think that Indian Army is needed to be taught about what is to be done,” ex-serviceman, Anchal Singh, martyred soldier's father said.
He expressed that even a child understands how to respond if a stone pelted at him and added, “Time has come. Enough is enough and Indian Army must act strongly against the enemy,” he said, adding, “three more deaths with similar modus operandi is worrisome and it is time to act than to beat drum by issuing unnecessary statements.”
Soldier’s uncle Jagdev Singh, who had served at the post where his nephew was martyred while sharing his duty days said, “when I was posted in Sunderbani, Pakistani Army was busy constructing concrete structures with bricks and cement to protect themselves from firing but on own side, we were told to use mud and cowdung to raise a shelter.”
“A lot has changed in the Indian Army and much is required to be done to streamline the working,” he claimed and added that three generations of his family were serving in the Army and more than 10 people are serving at different places for the pride of the country.
“Giving befitting reply to Pakistan is now just a ‘routine statement’ issued by the Army,” he said while quoting an example about an incident from his serving days that a tower across the border was raised near a forward village from where they used to target the civilians.
“The then Army Commander came to know about it and immediately ordered that the tower should be demolished and the action was initiated in hours. This is what we call strong reply,” he said.
Defence expert, Captain (retd) Anil Gaur said, “Indian Army not only has to patrol along the borders but they also have to keep vigil on infiltration attempts, narco terrorism, smuggling of weapons and for that they have to patrol mostly on foot, which is not the case with Pakistan.”
“Pakistan do not have to worry about infiltration or any cross border smuggling, which gives them upper edge and they easily target our jawans,” he said.
“Pakistan always try to push terrorists with onset of winters as passes close due to heavy snowfall and in such a situation, wild grass grown along Indo-Pak border is helping them (Pakistani Army) to snipe our jawans,” he maintained.

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