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

“The ceasefire violations across the LoC have increased this year if you compare the figures with last year or the year before that. We have also seen that there has been caliber escalation in terms of artillery being used from across the LoC to target innocent civilians,” said Saini while addressing the media at the Indian Military Academy Passing Out Parade.

“These acts are abhorrent and although casualties have taken place on our side on the innocent civilians, we have been retaliating in a calibrated manner. We are prepared for all contingencies which arise on the LoC,” he added.

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

“We are in touch with our Chinese counterparts both at the diplomatic as well as the military level. We hope that a solution is found through this dialogue and the status quo as of April this year is restored while we seek a resolution through dialogue we are also committed to ensuring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country irrespective of the cause involved,” said Saini.

“We have to keep the engagement on with China and these are complex talks and therefore it’s slightly to take time but I do understand that these talks are protected but we are maintaining our commitment in this dialogue and hope that an early resolution is achieved,” he added.

Speaking about the reports of China setting up villages near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Saini said that no new villages or structures have been created inside the Indian territory.

“There are no new villages or structures that have been created inside our territory so therefore it is on the other side of the border. As you are aware that continued development of infrastructure on the other side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been ongoing for the last many decades. Therefore, it is not a matter of concern for us,” he added.

Speaking about the Passing Out Parade, Saini said it is very satisfying to see the Passing Out parade and other events been conducted despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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