A spike in ceasefire violations by Pakistan may be linked to India's efforts to fortify its grip along the Line of Control and International Border that have clamped down on infiltration attempts, government sources have said. Officers claim that these incidents, a sign of "desperation", may continue for a month before the Line of Control "cools down".
Data accessed by NDTV reveals that till July 30 this year, there have been 264 incidents of ceasefire violation, killing eight civilians and injuring 67. Nine security personnel too have lost their lives and 55 have been injured.
In 2018, there were as many as 382 incidents of incidents of ceasefire violation that killed 30 civilians and injured143. Thirty-seven security personnel died and 104 were injured. In the year before that, 379 incidents of ceasefire violation were reported in which 12 civilians were killed and 79 were injured. Thirty-one security personnel were killed and 62 injured.
Earlier this week, a 10-month old baby died in Pakistani shelling. Civilians and security personnel have both suffered because of increased tensions between India and Pakistan.
"We have been able to thwart their infiltration attempts [so] now they are desperate. More so, the window for them to sneak into India is also now shrinking," said a senior officer in the Ministry of Defence.
According to him, the mountain passes used by infiltrators will close because of snow in three months. A meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international watchdog of terror funding, in October will also compel Pakistan to "watch its conduct", he said.
"So as of now, Pakistan is desperate to sneak in the maximum number of infiltrators in a short window frame that is available," he said.
According to the Home Ministry, there have been as many as 52 infiltration attempts from Pakistan in the first five months of 2019. Of these, 20 infiltrators returned while two were shot dead because of the strong anti-infiltration grid, the government says. However, 29 managed to sneak into India.
This week, India and Pakistan exchanged heavy artillery fire at the Tangdhar sector near the Line of Control in north Kashmir after Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement, in a major escalation of tensions in the area.
The artillery fire started on Tuesday after an Indian soldier died in mortar shelling by Pakistan in Jammu's Sunderbani sector and two Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliatory fire by India.
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