New Delhi: The number of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir has doubled this year to 3,200, compared to 1,629 violations recorded in 2018, government data has revealed. In 2017, the LoC had been relatively peaceful, as just 860 violations were recorded.
The data showed that the number of violations spiked after the Balakot air strikes in February, as well as after 5 August, the day when the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370 and bifurcated the region into two union territories.
Sources in the Army said in the last few weeks, the LoC has remained tense, particularly in Akhnoor, Gurez, Keran, Uri and Poonch sectors, from where reports of massive firing and shelling had come in.
“The number of BAT (Border Action Team) attempts and infiltration attempts… have gone up after 5 August. The number of CFVs (ceasefire violations) were also high around the time when the Pulwama attack and the subsequent Balakot strikes took place,” a senior Army officer said.
There are an estimated 300 terrorists in the Kashmir region and 20 in Jammu, said the officer.
307 violations in August
Another Army officer said the LoC was active throughout the year because of an attempt from both sides to increase “moral ascendency” in areas they dominate.
In February and March this year, the number of violations recorded were 215 and 267, respectively. From August this year, the number has largely exceeded 300, with 307 violations in August and 292, 351 and 302 in September, October and November, respectively. The data for the month of December is yet to be collated.
The numbers in the latter part of the year are huge, despite the fact that infiltration attempts and ceasefire violations are relatively lower in the winter compared to the rest of the year.
Army sources had earlier said firing from the Pakistani side had also targeted schools in the Nikyal and Sandot sectors, and about 120 school students were evacuated in September alone.