The Indian Army on Monday said their Pakistani counterparts had mutilated the bodies of two soldiers killed during “unprovoked” exchange of fire near the Line of Control. “Such despicable act of Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded [to],” the Army said in an official statement.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the Indian government “strongly condemns” the incident. “This is a reprehensible and inhumane act, such attacks don’t even take place during war, let alone peace,” he said. “Bodies of soldiers being mutilated is an extreme form of barbaric act. Country has full confidence and faith in armed forces which will react appropriately. Sacrifice of these two soldiers won’t go in vain.”

Several other leaders have also reacted to the news, including Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma. Sharma condemned the incident, and attacked the central government for its policies in Kashmir. He called it a “disaster marked by political opportunism”, PTI reported.

However, Pakistan denied these the allegations saying its Army “will never disrespect a soldier”. “Pakistan Army did not commit any ceasefire violation on LoC as alleged by India,” Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson, Pakistan Foreign Affairs, tweeted. “Indian blame of mutilating Indian soldiers is also false.”

The soldiers were killed in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir. Heavy firing was reported along the Line of Control with Pakistan in the district, where two Indian forward post at Kerni was targeted, according to The Indian Express.

Some reports said it was a planned attack by Pakistan. Pakistani troops are believed to have targeted the post around 8.30 am with rockets and mortar shells.

One of those who died was an Indian Army soldier and the other was a Border Security Force jawan, according to TV reports. The injured troops were taken to a hospital, but two of them succumbed to their injuries.

News of the ceasefire violation came as Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level security meeting at his official residence in Delhi. At the meeting, which was called to review the state of security in Kashmir and to discuss the Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, Singh gave orders to improve the situation in the Valley “at the earliest”. The secretary of home affairs, the chiefs of the Central Reserve Police Force and Intelligence Bureau, and the national security adviser attended the meeting.

There have been several such incidents of alleged ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the recent past. In April alone, there were five such reports. In March, Poonch had witnessed two ceasefire violations.

On March 12, the trade centre at Chakanda Bagh – the main stop for vehicles crossing the LoC – was targeted by Pakistani shelling. The Army had said that forces from across the border had used mortars and Indian guards had responded immediately. On March 13, as well, there was heavy firing along the border.