SRINAGAR: After army’s surgical strikes on militant launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) on the intervening night of September 28/29, at least 18 soldiers have been killed, two of them beheaded, in Pakistani troops firing, shelling and cross-LoC raids along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir.
One of the soldier is also in the captivity of the Pakistani troops.
Army on September 29 announced that surgical strikes were conducted on militant launch pads in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) during the night inflicting heavy casualties to militants.
Although Pakistan denied that surgical strikes had taken place but the border ceasefire violations and firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along LoC and IB witnessed surge immediately after the surgical strikes.
Army suffered first casualty in cross-border firing and shelling on October 16 when Sepoy Sudees Kumar was killed in Pakistani troops firing along LoC in Rajouri.
Till October 16, Pakistani troops had breached the border ceasefire, which had been in place since November 2003, 25 times after the surgical strikes.
The ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops have surged and now there are near daily skirmishes along the LoC and IB in J&K.
Defence sources said there have been more than 300 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along LoC and IB in the State after September 28.
In these ceasefire violations, army and BSF suffered 18 casualties. Two of the soldiers were beheaded in two cross-LoC raids by militants and Pakistani troops.
Pakistan claimed to have captured an Indian army soldier Chandu Babu Lal Chauhan on September 30. Army, however, maintains that the soldier had crossed the LoC inadvertently.
At least 12 civilians have also lost their lives and dozens other injured in cross-border firing and shelling in the State since September 29.
A day after three soldiers were killed and body of one of them beheaded by BAT team in a cross-LoC road in Machil sector, Army launched a day-long counter-offensive on Pakistani posts along LoC on November 23, killing three Pakistani troops.
An army official said Pakistani troops have suffered heavy casualties in the retaliatory firing and mortar shelling by Indian army and border guards during the ceasefire violations.
“We have destroyed scores of their posts,” he said.
The official said the vigilant army men foiled two infiltration bids by militants in last 18 hours along the LoC in Gulmarg and Nowgam sectors in Kashmir
“The army men, who are on highest mode of alert, forced the militants flee back to other side of LoC,” he added.
On October 16 Sepoy Sudees Kumar was killed in Pakistani troops firing along LoC in Rajouri.
On October 22, a BSF jawan Gurnam Singh, who was critically injured in Pakistani troops firing on October 20, succumbed.
The next day another BSF jawan Sushil kumar was killed in Pakistani troops firing along the IB in RS Pura sector.
Four days later (October 27), BSF Head Constable Jitendra Kumar was killed in Pak firing along the IB in Jammu district.
Oct 27, army man Sandeep Singh Rawat was killed during a gunfight with infiltrating militants in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district.
The next day, militants assisted by Pakistani troops cover fire conducted a cross-LoC attack in Machil sector of Kupwara district. The militants killed an army man Mandeep Singh, 26, and beheaded his body before fleeing back. One militant was also killed in retaliatory firing.
A BSF jawan Nitin Subhash was killed in Pakistani troops firing in Machil sector of Kupwara on the same day.
After a brief lull in firing for over a week, two soldiers were killed in Pakistani troops firing along LoC in Poonch district on November 6.
Two days later, two more army men Naik H K Yadava and Naik Prem Singh were killed in cross-border shelling along LoC in Rajouri district.
On November 9, a soldier was killed in sniper fire of Pakistani troops in Machil sector of Kupwara district.
Three days later, an army man Gunner Harsit Bhadouria was killed in Pakistani troops firing along LoC in Keran sector of Kupwara district.
On November 21, a BSF head constable Rai Singh was killed in Pakistani troops mortar along LoC in Rajouri district.
A day later, Pakistan’s notorious Border Action Team (BAT) comprising Pakistan army commandos and militants launched a cross-LoC raid in Machil sector and killed three soldiers. Body of one of the soldier was beheaded by the BAT team.