LoC Flare Up: 24 Security Men, 22 Civilians Killed Last Year

  Indian forces personnel patrolling near the line of control | File Photo

Srinagar: At least 24 security forces personnel and 22 civilians were killed along the Line of Control due to flare-up between India and Pakistan along the military control line in Jammu and Kashmir last year, officials said on Tuesday.

They said that there were nearly 70 per cent increase in “ceasefire violations” in the last one year with 5133 incidents reported in 2020 and 3479 in 2019 while the number of such happenings was 2140 in 2018.

They said 30 civilians were killed and 143 injured in 2018 while the number of civilians killed in 2019 was 18 killed and injured 127. 22 civilians were killed and 71 injured in 2019.

Similarly, they said, 29 security personnel were killed and 116 injured in 2018. In 2019, they said, 19 personnel were killed and 122 injured while 24 personnel were killed and 126 others injured last year.

Regarding militant attacks, they said there were 244 incidents reported last year in which 62 security personnel and 37 civilians were killed while 106 personnel and 112 civilians were injured. At the same time, they said, 221 militants were killed compared to 157 in 2019 and 257 in 2018.

Responding to a question by parliamentarians— Bhartruhari Mahtab, Rahul Ramesh Shewale, Omprakash Bhupalsinh Alias Pawan Rajenimbalkar—MOS MHA G Kishan Reddy said that Jammu and Kashmir is affected by militancy “sponsored and supported from across the border for the last three decades.”

“The ceasefire violations by Pakistan are reported from the IB/LoC in Jammu and Kashmir only. The Government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards (militancy),” he said, adding, “Immediate and effective retaliation is undertaken by the security forces in cases of ceasefire violations/ cross border firings.”

He said that there has been a substantial decline in the militant attacks over the last three years due to a slew of “pre-emptive measures undertaken by the Government.”

To a question, he said that The last DG level meeting of BSF and Pakistan Rangers was held from 08-10 November, 2017 at New Delhi. “During this meeting, the issue of cross border firing was discussed, in which it was agreed upon by both sides to ensure that no such firing takes place,” he said, adding, “In case of any firing, the other side must exercise maximum restraint and immediate contact through all available means of communication be established to avoid further escalation.”

He said flag meetings are also held on ground, on need basis, between Commanders of different levels.

Asked about the details of assessment made to ascertain the losses to the exchequer due to such attacks, the MoS said that no such assessment is made. However, he said, compensation is provided to the civilians, security force personnel, etc. for the losses due to such attacks.

To a question about the measures taken to counter such incidents, he said, “Government has been consistently raising the issue of cross border (militancy) and has placed high emphasis on international cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism including in bilateral, regional and international fora.”

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