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Beheading avenged: Bikram

New Delhi, July 31: General Bikram Singh, who retired as the army chief today, has said the Indian Army avenged the beheading of its soldier by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir last year that kicked up a political storm in the country.

Reminded today as he demitted office that he had said at the time that the army “would respond at the time and place of our choosing”, General Singh replied: “It has been done. When you use force, that is from tactical to operations and strategic level. That was at the level of tactical operations which have been undertaken by local commanders and chiefs don’t get involved in this.”

Asked if the decision to raise a Mountain Strike Corps was his biggest achievement, the outgoing chief said: “A strategic leader cannot ever benchmark his achievements. It is the organisation that takes credit for it. Everyone has worked hard to achieve this. I salute everyone who has been involved in this and ensured that it goes to its logical conclusion”.

He said the raising of the MSC, that is meant for the China frontier, was according to schedule. Most of the units would be located in the east and the headquarters will move to Panagarh in Bengal.

General Singh, who visited China shortly before retiring, said he does not foresee that transgressions by patrols on the border with China may lead to skirmishes.

“Firstly, on our northern border even we are carrying out activity. The PLA (China’s Peoples Liberation Army) and our soldiers do patrolling in areas which are disputed (along the LAC). Both have claims when patrols have a face-off once in while that is dealt with existing rules of engagement and mechanisms in place,” he said.

The situation on the border with Pakistan is however a different story.

“The LoC firing is going on for quite some time. Our troops are responding to these events at a tactical level and (it is) left at the tactical level. It’s an ongoing process and has been going on for number of years. Our soldiers are doing their jobs in the right manner and right perspective,” he said.