Ceasefire violations breach 350 mark in Oct, highest in 2019

India-Pakistan border.

New Delhi,  Ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir were the highest in October among the first ten months of the calendar year 2019, Army officials said here on Monday.

Officials also added that in the first 11 days of November, as many as 97 Pakistan-initiated ceasefire violations have already been reported.

As per data compiled by the Army, there were 351 Pakistan-initiated ceasefire violations along the LoC in various sectors of Jammu and Kashmir in October. The only other month in which ceasefire violations had crossed the 300-figure mark was August, the month in which Parliament withdrew special status to Jammu and Kashmir by reading down Article 370 of the Constitution. The number of incidents had been recorded at 307 in August.

“Ceasefire violations have gone up several folds after August 5 when Article 370 was abrogated. This is indicative of the fact that Pakistan has been trying to push in infiltrators through the LoC under covering fire. Several infiltration attempts have been thwarted though retaliatory firing by Indian troops,” an Army official told IANS.

On the intervening night of November 8 and 9, around half-a-dozen intruders opened fire at Army troops at a forward location in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir even as Pakistani troops resorted to firing of small arms and mortars. One Indian soldier was martyred in the firing by the infiltrators, who however, had to beat a hasty retreat owing to strong retaliatory measures by India.

On October 20, Indian troops destroyed four terror launch pads along the LoC in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in retaliatory artillery gun firing after a ceasefire violation in the Tangdhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir, which claimed the lives of two soldiers.

“The biggest challenge for Army troops in containing infiltration attempts would be around four months later than this date when snow hardens and attains the heights of the fences along LoC. This makes crossing over across the LoC easier for infiltrators,” added the official.

Till date, the total number of ceasefire violations has crossed the 2,500 mark this calendar year as compared to 1,629 incidents in the entire 12 months in the year 2018.

This year, number of ceasefire violations had been the lowest in the months of June and January during which 181 and 203 incidents, respectively, were recorded.

Pakistan has been violating ceasefire on an average of around 10 times per day since August 5, with the number of incidents recorded this year already at a five-year high. In the period between October 30 and 31, however, the number of ceasefire violations was 39, one of the highest recorded for any single day this calendar year.

More than 140 militants have been neutralized by Indian Army in the hinterland till November this year. In the year 2018, a total number of 254 militants were neutralised while the corresponding figure in 2017 stood at 213.