Modi era sees sharp increase in LoC casualties

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The border between India and Pakistan is seeing a sharp and steady increase in deaths due to firing — including those of militants — in the last three years, Defence ministry numbers revealed.

With more than five months to go before the year is through, 2018 has already seen the deaths of 27 army and BSF personnel in cross border shooting at the line of control, according to the ministry.

This is much higher than in 2017, when such shooting had killed 19 jawans during the full year.

Similarly, 13 deaths were reported in the year of 2016, while it was only 10 in 2015.

A similar spike can also be seen in the number of civilians and militants killed in such cross border firing.

In 2018 so far, a total of 28 civilians have been killed in cross border firings along the LoC, while only 12 civilians were killed in the whole of last year.

MILITANTS

Indian defence forces believe that the cross border firings are conducted by the Pakistani army to provide cover for groups of militants trying to cross over.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the number of militants killed on the border has also gone up dramatically in the last three years.

The number of militants killed on the border jumped to 150 in 2016 from 108 in the previous year, and further to 213 last year. This year so far, a total of 110 militants have been killed on the J&K border.

Indian defence forces have been taking an increasingly aggressive stance against attempts to provide covering fire for militants trying to cross over.

Instead of hunkering down, the Indian Army has been instructed to fire back to ensure that militants are not allowed to enter. This is expected to have increased the casualties on the other side of the border as well.

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