‘Bye Bye 2021’: The year of ‘peace’ along LoC

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Ceasefire between Indo- Pak results all time low violation, killings along LoC in past one year

Srinagar, Dec 23: Following the recent ceasefire understanding between India and Pakistan, the figures of violations and killings at the border areas this year was all-time low compared to previous years.

Year 2021 had seen the highest number of ceasefire violations after more than 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir.

India shares a total of 3,323 kilometers of border with Pakistan of which 221 kms is the international border and 740 kilometers of Line of Control (LoC) which falls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Notably, border shelling has killed hundreds of people in Kashmir and Jammu region since 1990 and left scores handicapped. Besides, houses and livestock worth billions of rupees have also been damaged as well due to the cross LoC shelling in J&K in the past 30 years.

According to the figures available with news agency Jammu and Kashmir in the ensuing year witnessed 664 incidents of ceasefire violations upto mid-year, with 28 infiltration attempts during which a total of 15 infiltrators and four soldiers lost their lives.

However, as per the details not a single civilian was killed in cross border gunfire which is lowest of all time compared to previous years.

Apart from the huge recoveries of arms and ammunition, narcotics worth crores of rupees have been confiscated by the security forces.

“On April 14 a total of 10 kilogram of narcotics with a market value of Rs 50 crore was recovered when an infiltration bid was foiled. On June 25 heroin worth Rs 30 crore were recovered along with a warlike store in Kashmir valley in two operations close to LoC,” reveal the figures.

Year 2021 saw 5,100 incidents of ceasefire violations which are the all-time highest in the last 17 years during which 36 lives were claimed and 130 received injuries. The year 2019 saw a total of 3,289 incidents of ceasefire violations of which 1,565 were reported after August.

On 26 November 2003, then Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee entered into a ceasefire agreement with Pakistan but that was not followed in letter and spirit..

A recent ceasefire agreement was agreed by both India and Pakistan in February this year and stated that all the agreements of ceasefire will be followed by both sides.

The February ceasefire pact ignited hopes among the border residents of long-lasting peace with special occasions and festival celebrations returning to the LoC areas besides the flow of tourists also increased in remote places.

The Army in September had said that ceasefire violations had dropped to zero in Kashmir valley and there were few attempts of infiltrations in which one militant was eliminated in an operation.

Figures available with KNO reveal that J&K witnessed 664 incidents of ceasefire violations upto mid of this year.

The figures reveal that a total of 15 infiltrators were killed in different operations by security forces in Poonch, Uri, Nowshera sector besides four  soldiers lost their lives while foiling infiltrations which include three in January and one in February this year while there has been no major infiltration attempt apart from Uri operation.

“Uri operation which lasted for 9 days was called off after the killing of 7 infiltrators in two different operations during which 1 militant was apprehended by security forces,” reveal the figures.

In this year unexplored border destinations were also visited by a large number of visitors after the government assured that they will imitate every step to promote and encourage border tourism.

Locals informed that even during the ceasefire there is no greater progress on the underground bunkers, “be it individual or community bunkers in border areas.”

It may be recalled that Army women soldiers were deployed amid the rising narcotic and ammunition supply 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.

Officials informed that there was no major infiltration or ceasefire violation in border sectors of the three districts including Kupwara, Bandipora, and Baramulla barring one in the Uri sector.

Compared to previous figures the situation in all three districts remained calm.

Baramulla last year reported 28 instances of ceasefire violations and saw casualties of four security forces and five civilians. Similarly, Kupwara had witnessed 16 in which five civilians and 12 forces personnel were killed and Bandipora had reported nine ceasefire violation instances in which two security forces personnel guarding the forward areas lost their lives.

The recent February ceasefire violation is believed to have melted the ice in border areas with guns falling silent on both sides of the fence