Jammu: There were 5,100 instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in 2020 in Jammu and Kashmir, the highest in nearly 18 years, that claimed 36 lives and left more than 130 people injured, according to security officials.
They said the “very heavy” shelling and firing by Pakistani troops virtually made the 2003 India-Pakistan border truce “redundant”.
“Pakistani troops repeatedly targeted forwards posts and villages along the LoC and the International Border (IB) to create fear among the people and destabilise the peace along the borderline,” a senior police officer said.
“Pakistani forces have violated the ceasefire 5,100 times in 2020 with an average of 14 cases daily,” an official source said. In these ceasefire violations, 36 people including 24 security personnel were killed and 130 injured, according to the compiled data.
Fifteen of the soldiers died along the LoC in the Jammu region.
There were 3,289 ceasefire violations by the Pakistan army along the Indo-Pak border in 2019, they said.
Of these, 1,565 ceasefire violations took place since August 2019, after the Indian government abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the erstwhile state into union territories.
In 2018, Jammu and Kashmir had recorded 2,936 instances of ceasefire violations by Pakistan with an average of eight cases daily, in which 61 people were killed and over 250 injured.
The number of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in 2020 was over five times that of 2017 when 971 cases were reported in which 31 people — 12 civilians and 19 security forces personnel — were killed and 151 suffered injures.
Before the ceasefire agreement, as many as 8,376 incidents of shelling and firing by Pakistani troops were reported in 2002.
For three years – 2004, 2005 and 2006 – there was not a single such violation on the border. However, there had been a gradual increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan since 2009.
People living near the border in Jammu, Kathua, Kupwara and Baramulla, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch districts were also severely hit by firing and shelling by Pakistani troops during the year.
The officials said that due to shelling and firing incidents, people had to migrate to safer places three times which affected education and farm activities.
To protect border residents in the wake of increasing ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, the central government sanctioned Rs 415 crore for constructing over 14,400 underground bunkers along the LoC and the IB.
As many as 7,777 bunkers have been constructed under the programme in Rajouri, Poonch, Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and tenders have been floated for more such shelters, the officials said, adding the rest would be constructed soon.
Giving details of the ceasefire violations, they said that in 2015, 405 cases of ceasefire violations were reported while 583 such instances were recorded in 2014.
The corresponding figures for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 were 347, 114, 62, 44, and 28. There were 77 violations in 2008, 21 in 2007 and three in 2006, according to official data.
The Indian government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had entered into the ceasefire agreement with Pakistan on November 26, 2003.
India shares a 3,323-km border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.