Year After ‘Surgical Strikes’: Death Count of Soldiers, Militants Rise

SRINAGAR—Nearly a year after Indian army carried out “surgical strikes” inside Pakistan controlled Kashmir to deter attacks from across LOC there has been an increase in casualties suffered by the Army, a report said on Tuesday.

The period after the ‘surgical strikes’ has also seen a sharp rise in ceasefire violations along dividing Line of Control in Kashmir, reported Indian Express. 

“As per the government data, Army has killed 110 militants from January to September last year. Interestingly, the surgical strike took place on September 29, 2016. Moreover, following the surgical strikes, 178 militants have been killed at both the Kashmir Valley and on the LoC- 31 between October and December last year, and the rest this year”, the report said.

[[{"type":"media","fid":"24515","view_mode":"wysiwyg","instance_fields":"override"}]]Though the number of militants killed this year has grown the Indian Army has also seen a rise in casualties of its men in operations against militants and ceasefire violations on the LoC. 

[[{"type":"media","fid":"24515","view_mode":"wysiwyg","instance_fields":"override"}]]Between January and September last year, 38 Army personnel were killed comprising of 19 who died in the Uri attack, report said. 

Since the ‘surgical strikes’, the Army toll has gone up to 69 — 25 between October and December last year, and the rest this year.

A government official on the rise of the numbers said,“The higher number of casualties is directly linked to two factors: more engagement with the militants, and increasing number of ceasefire violations,” reported Indian Express.

Meanwhile, the data also shows that there have been 228 ceasefire violations along the LoC last year, which rose to 444 by September 14. According to government sources, over 60 per cent of the 228 ceasefire violations last year took place after the surgical strikes, added IE the report.

What Led to Surgical Strikes?

On September 18 last year, fedayeen militants stormed an army base in garrison township of Uri in north Kashmir. The death toll turned out to be very high as 19 soldiers lost their lives.

On 29 September, eleven days after the Uri attack, India said it carried out surgical strikes deep inside Pakistani Kashmir. However, Pakistan denied any surgical strikes had been carried out. The NIA, which began probe into the attack, has made little headway in the probe as those whom Delhi calls ‘real culprits’, remain free.

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