JAMMU: Militancy is under control in Jammu and Kashmir but Pakistan has escalated its efforts to disturb peace with a two-fold increase in ceasefire violations by its troops along the border, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chander Murmu has said.
“Ceasefire violations have doubled. Cross-border elements are desperate,” Murmu told PTI in an interview at the Raj Bhawan here.
The security situation in the Union Territory “is better” as compared to 2018, he said, adding “half of 2019 was under strict restriction. The militancy is under control. The (militancy-related) incidents have decreased.”
Jammu and Kashmir has been under tight security since August 5 last year when the central government announced its decisions to abrogate its special status under the Constitution and divide the erstwhile state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Referring to the rise in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops, the lieutenant governor said “cross-border elements are desperate” to stage infiltration of terrorists into this side.
Noting that militancy-related incidents increase marginally during the summer, he said, “When the winter period ends, little bit activity increases. They are engaged in infiltrations, as we keep getting information…. Ceasefire violations have doubled. Cross-border elements are desperate (to stage infiltration of terrorists into this side).”
Three persons, including a woman and child, were killed on Saturday in artillery shelling by Pakistan in Chowkibal, Kupwara, near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir on April 12.
“There were a total of 646 incidents of ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB) as well as the LoC between January 1 and February 23 this year,” Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said in March.
Over 3,200 ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops were recorded in 2019.
There is 198 km IB and over 510 km of LoC with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Murmu pointed towards the growing frustration among cross-border elements due to prevailing peace in Jammu and Kashmir.
“They do not digest or tolerate the peace prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5 last year. They are unable to incite people (to stoke trouble and increase violence in JK). But the public is cooperating. The public is happy. They have got better services during President’s rule,” he said.
He said that somehow there are no internal disturbances, so forces across the border have increased the pitch in border areas by engaging in firing and shelling.
“In the hinterland, it is peaceful,” he added.
As the winter ended, militants have begun to attack security forces and kill civilians in Kashmir Valley in the past fortnight.
Four CRPF troopers were killed and another soldier was injured after militants fired at their vehicle at Sopore in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday evening.
Two militants, who had snatched two service rifles and killed a policeman in Kishtwar’s Dachhan on April 13 by using axes, were killed in an encounter in Chenab Valley’s Kishtwar, the police said on Friday.
In another incident, Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Friday.
Five militants were killed earlier this month as the Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, a defence spokesperson said. Five soldiers also died in the gunbattle with them. PTI