Srinagar: With the record-breaking of over 4000 ceasefire violations between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir, the northern belt of Kashmir witnessed the killing of 18 armed forces with 58 instances that damaged property worth crores besides leaving several civilians handicapped for life.
India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the International Border (IB) and 740 km of the Line of Control (LoC) that falls in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the figures available with news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), north Kashmir alone witnessed 53 instances of ceasefire violations during which 18 army men including BSF troopers and 10 civilians including the youngest victim were killed besides 126 residential houses got damaged including schools and religious seminaries while 28 civilians received injuries.
Giving the details officials in Bandipora said that in the ensuing year 2020, the Gurez sector alone witnessed nine ceasefire violation instances in which two security personnel guarding the forward areas were killed.
They said that the ceasefire violations in the Gurez sector this year left five forces personnel and civilians injured. Besides, fatalities and injuries, 31 houses were partially damaged, one Horse and Donkey also got killed.
Apart from this, a Government High school, religious seminary (Madrassa), and a ration store got partially damaged, they said.
In the border district Baramulla, the officials said that in the 28 instances of ceasefire violation a total of four security forces and five civilians were killed while two security personnel and 14 civilians received injuries.
They said that though the figure of ceasefire violations was low as compared with the 42 instances in 2019 the damage it caused is more than witnessed in past and led to more casualties and damage to the civilian population including the livestock.
“In 2019 only 42 CFV instances were reported in which 10 civilian and only security personnel received injuries and two each civilian and security personnel’s were killed”, they said.
About the houses, an official said that over 36 houses got damaged in the ensuing year of which 30 of the houses were damaged in the recent intense cross-border shelling on November 17.
Defence sources said that multiple militant hideouts were busted and a weapon drop was also fouled during which a huge amount of arms and ammunition besides war like store was recovered.
Officials in Kupwara said a total number of ceasefire violations in the ensuing year has risen to 16 in which five civilians and 12 forces personnel were killed while two troops and nine civilians injured besides 59 houses were damaged. Only 11 ceasefire violation instances were reported in 2019 last year.
“With the heightened surveillance, intelligence, and active troopers two major infiltration bids were foiled in Kupwara district at Machil and Keran sector. Also in a separate operation two militants were killed in the Nowgam sector on 11 July,” officials said.
On November 13, Army claimed to have caused substantial damage to Pakistan army’s infrastructure and casualties across the LoC while retaliating the unprovoked ceasefire violation that left three army men dead and three injured.
In Kupwara, officials said that 12 army men and a BSF trooper were killed during the unprovoked ceasefire violations.
“In March, five heavily armed militants were killed by the army braving the heaps of snow and tough terrain. Three militants were gunned down in the Machil sector last month include the two major foiled infiltration bids in the ensuing year in Kupwara,” officials said.
Defence sources said that a quadcopter was also shot down by active troops close to the fence earlier this year.
Women soldiers on forward areas
Amid the rising narcotic and ammunition supply for the first time, women soldiers have been deployed in selected forward areas to keep a watch on suspects and to plug the entry of narcotics and ammunition into this side close to the forward areas.
Construction of community bunkers
The year also witnessed the construction of community bunkers close to the forward areas gaining pace which include a total of 140 to be constructed in the three border districts with 50 in Uri, 30 in Gurez, and 50 in the Tangdhar sector—(KNO)