'Ceasefire violation, beheading not new'

'Ceasefire violation, beheading not new'

Even as the 778 km long Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan witnessed an incident of ceasefire violation every three days in 2012, most of the action was concentrated in two areas near Uri and Krishna Ghati without causing much tension in other sectors.

“It is not that ceasefire was violated along the entire length of the LoC. Segments remained undisturbed. Local dynamics play its role in Uri and Krishna Ghati,” Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh said. The ceasefire on the LoC had been maintained since November 26, 2003.

But there were 117 cases of ceasefire violation in 2012, almost double from the 61 cases in 2011 and more than double the 44 cases of 2010. “Increasing firing marks their level of frustration,” Singh added.

The Indian Army is still analysing the reasons for the unprovoked attack, which could range from their domestic political compulsions to Pakistani Army being on the back foot for a variety of reasons.

Singh admitted decapitation was not a new phenomenon with the Pakistan Army. In July 2011, two soldiers from 20 Kumaon regiment were beheaded by Pakistani soldiers. Another incident took place in May, 2000 during Operation Parakram.

Narrating how tension flared up in the first place, the Army chief said Cherunda village that sits on the LoC is dominated by Pakistani posts and witnessed small arms and mortar firing for months. Three villagers including a pregnant woman was killed in the crossfire.

Indian soldiers were preparing a communication trench, crawl trench and observation post in that village, which attracted Pakistani attention leading to the conflict. Firing continued even after the killing.

Meanwhile, in the last two days, Indian soldiers gunned down three people, but are yet to recover their bodies to ascertain whether they are soldiers or infiltrators.

On Sunday night, there was an unsuccessful attempt from Pakistan to break into Indian territory to take away the bodies.

The Army Chief said there are 60 villages on the LoC ahead of the fence whose protection is also the responsibility of the Indian Army. Cherunda is one such village.

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