Sacrifices of security forces in Kashmir – an unending saga

Binoo Joshi


This is the time to recall the life and times of soldiers who laid down their lives in Kargil war two decades ago . The nation is indebted to their sacrifices that saved Kashmir in the crucial times because the war was not just limited to Kargil – the Himalayan terrain in the northernmost part of Jammu and Kashmir but the dignity of the whole of the nation was challenged by devious enemy . The nation’s dignity was restored by soldiers who sweated and shed their blood to recapture what the enemy had taken by deceit .
But this is also the time to recall the sacrifices of the soldiers, troopers and the policemen who sacrificed their lives while fighting the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in one of the most difficult situations imposed on them by the hostile terrain and environment . Here the lines of John Milton come to mind : “ They also serve who stand and wait “. The poet had spoken in terms of those who served God, but here it is more relevant in the context of the security forces personnel who were on guard duty and were killed in the line of duty .
The security forces fought along the Line of Control to stem the flow of the infiltrators coming from Pakistan occupied Kashmir . They soldiers were positioned in the dizzying heights in freezing temperatures and they were fighting infiltrators who were given cover fire by Pakistan army to deflect the attention of the Indian soldiers to push through the LoC.
The point of stopping a single infiltrator on the LoC means saving at least 10 lives – ( a) the infiltrators were trained in the art of fighting guerrilla warfare and equipped with sophisticated weaponry . Their training and the weaponry made them a formidable enemy ( b) whenever they succeeded in entering the hinterland , they were a psychological boost to the secessionists who relied on them for fighting and killing their adversaries and ( C) they were far bigger threat to the security and safety of peace-loving people.
It is beyond the imagination of many in the nation and elsewhere that how the infiltration was curbed and how many times soldiers lost their while fighting the infiltrators who had the advantage of the heights and at times were equipped with sophisticated gadgets that could tell them the location of the Indian soldiers . It is a nightmarish situation on the borders but the soldiers did not blink even a lid while performing their duty.
Within the hinterland, the fight was tougher still , where they were tasked to target militants only and save the lives of the civilians , because many a times the encounters took place in the populated areas. While the foreign militants or even for that matter local militants had no regard for the safety of the civilians, soldiers strived hard to save the civilians. The soldiers were shot when they appealed the terrorists to surrender.
The sacrifices are countless – the sacrifice doesn’t mean losing the life but also the way they served in the most hostile terrains in the world and faced gravest provocations with calmness. This is the saga that the Indian security forces have written in Kashmir.

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