Highest in 15 years: 2936 cases of ‘ceasefire violations’ in 2018
Srinagar, Jan 7: Jammu and Kashmir recorded 2,936 instances of ‘ceasefire violations’ in 2018 – the highest in the past 15 years with an average of eight cases daily – in which 61 people were killed and over 250 injured on the Indian side, officials said Monday.
“Pakistani forces have violated the ceasefire 2,936 times in 2018, in which 61 people were killed and 250 injured,” a senior Army official told PTI.
The number of ceasefire violations by in 2018 was over three times that of 2017, when 971 cases were reported. In 2017, 31 people – 12 civilians and 19 security forces personnel – were killed and 151 suffered injuries.
People living near the border in Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts were severely hit by firing and shelling between India and Pakistan troops. Fear gripped the border populace due to frequent shelling, which prompted thousands of people to migrate to safer places.
The officials said that due to shelling and firing incidents, people had to migrate to safer places three times last year, which affected education and farm activities.
To protect border residents in view of increasing ‘ceasefire violations’ in Jammu and Kashmir, the central government sanctioned Rs 415 crore for the construction of over 14,400 underground bunkers along the LoC and the IB and made efforts to speed up the work last year.
Over 300 bunkers have been constructed under the programme in Rajouri, Poonch, Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and tenders have been floated for more such bunkers, the officials said, adding that over 4,000 bunkers would be constructed this year.
Giving details of cases of ‘ceasefire violations’ in the past decade, the officials said that in 2015, 405 cases of ceasefire violations were reported and 583 such instances were recorded in 2014.
There had been a gradual increase in ‘ceasefire violations’ between 2009 and 2013. The corresponding figures for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 were 347, 114, 62, 44, and 28.
In the previous three years, the numbers of such ‘violations’ were 77 in 2008, 21 in 2007 and three in 2006, according to official data.
For three years – 2004, 2005 and 2006 – there was not a single such ‘violation’ on the border.
The Indian government led by the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee entered into a border ceasefire agreement with Pakistan along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir on November 26, 2003.
India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.