In this picture from November 6, army soldiers near the site of a gunfight with militants in Meej village, Pampore in Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir.(Waseem Andrabi/ Hindustan Times)
In this picture from November 6, army soldiers near the site of a gunfight with militants in Meej village, Pampore in Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir.(Waseem Andrabi/ Hindustan Times)

Pak using heavier artillery for LoC violations: Army vice chief

Lt Gen Saini was interacting with media persons on the sidelines of Passing out Parade of the autumn term of Indian Military Academy(IMA) in Dehradun where he was the reviewing officer.
Hindustan Times, Dehradun | By Kalyan Das
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 05:53 AM IST

The number of ceasefire violations at Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir have increased with an escalation in the calibre of artillery used by other side, said Vice Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Lt Gen Satinder Kumar Saini in Dehradun on Saturday.

Lt Gen Saini was interacting with media persons on the sidelines of Passing out Parade of the autumn term of Indian Military Academy(IMA) in Dehradun where he was the reviewing officer.

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“In comparison to last year, there has been an increase in number of ceasefire violations at LoC by the other side with an escalation in artillery being used to attack our civilian population. It has resulted in casualties in our side but we have also been giving them a befitting reply,” said Lt Gen Siani.

The Vice CoAS also spoke on the reports stating China setting up villages near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and said it is “not of concern to the Indian army as the development is on the Chinese side of the border.”

“There are no new villages or structures created inside our territory, it’s on their side of the boder. As you are aware that there is a continued development of infrastructure on the other side of the LAC that has been going on for last many decades. Therefore, it is not a matter of concern for us,” he said.

On the ongoing dialogues between Indian and Chinese side to solve the border dispute he informed that the Indian side is in touch with the Chinese counterparts at both diplomatic and military levels.

“We hope that through this dialogue process, a solution would be found and the status quo as of April this year would be restored. However, while we seek a resolution through dialogue, we are committed to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the territory,” said Lt Gen Saini.

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During his media interaction, he also stressed on strengthening of the ties between India and Nepal citing the recent visit of CoAS General Manoj Naravane to Nepal. “We have civilizational and historical links with Nepal. Also, many Nepalese citizens are in the ranks and file of Indian army. So our linkages are unshakable and the visit of CoAS only shows that these linkages will remain unaffected and would be strengthened further,” he said. Earlier during the event, while reviewing the parade as its reviewing officer, he congratulated the IMA staff to hold the event amid the pandemic while following all the Covid-19 guidelines. The passing out parade which adhered to the precautions like wearing of masks and maintaining extra distance by the Gentleman Cadets (GC)s during the parade, witnessed a total of 395 GCs passing out as commissioned army officers.

Among the total 395 GCs, 325 were Indian while remaining 70 were from nine friendly foreign nations. Out of the Indian GCs, maximum--50 were from Uttar Pradesh followed by Harayana and Bihar with 45 and 32 GCs respectively. Among other states, 24 were from Uttarakhand, 18 from Rajasthan and 15 from Punjab. Out of the total 70 GCs from friendly foreign countries, maximum 41 were from Afghanistan followed by 17 from Bhutan. During the event, the coveted sword of honour was awarded to GC Watandeep Singh Sidhu from Ludhiana, Punjab. The gold medal for the GC standing first in the order of merit was awarded to GC Majji Giridhar from Andhra Pradesh.

Similarly, the silver medal for the GC standing second in the order of merit was presented to GC Nidesh Singh Yadav of Haryana while the bronze medal for the GC standing third in order of merit was awarded to Shikhar Thapa from Uttar Pradesh. The silver medal for the GC standing first in the order of merit form technical graduate course was awarded to GC Jasminder Pal Singh Sidhu from Bhatinda, Punjab. In the GCs from friendly foreign countries, the silver medal for the gentleman cadet standing first in the order of merit from foreign GCs was awarded to Tandin Dorji from Bhutan.

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