India raises issue of ceasefire breach targeting public

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India has raised with Pakistan the issue of targeting civilians during ceasefire violations along the Line of Control which has seen a spike since the repealing of special provisions of Article 370 in August, Army sources said on Friday.

The issue was raised by the Army during the functional level talks held by the Directorate General of Military Operations with its Pakistani counterpart on October 1.

Last month, the Army rescued school students amid shelling in the Poonch district, an official said.

In July, there were 296 cases of ceasefire violations (CFVs), 307 in August and 292 in September, sources said. September also recorded 61 caliber escalation, implying usage of mortar and heavy ammunition.

In July 2018, the Army had recorded 13 cases of CFVs, followed by 44 in August and 102 in September. In 2017, there were 68 cases of CFVs in July, followed by 108 in August and 101 in September.

In September this year, of the 292 cases, the area north of Pir Panjal recorded 42 cases of cross-border firing, while the rest were reported in the south of the mountain ranges.

The ties between India and Pakistan have been severely strained since the repealing of the special provisions under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been bifurcated into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Army sources also said that the July-September period of this year recorded only 24 cases of 'terrorist-initiated incidents' as against 114 and 31 in the corresponding periods of 2018 and 2017, respectively.

They claimed that 85 cases of pelting of stones, five incidents of civil protest and three instances of bandh were reported in the Valley in September.

Restrictions have been placed in the Valley since August 5 and directions were given to relax it this week.

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