New Delhi, April 11
Pakistani security forces violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir 268 times in the last one year, as per government. Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said “appropriate retaliation” to the ceasefire violations was carried out by the Indian Army.
“All violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries,” he said.
As per details provided by Mr Bhamre about ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops between April 2016 and March this year, the maximum of 88 violations were witnessed in November followed by 78 in October and 22 last month.
Nine fatal casualties were reported during the period. To a separate question, he said a total of 25,472 posts of Junior Commissioned Officers and those of equivalent ranks are lying vacant in the Army, while the number of vacancies for officers is 7,986.
The number of posts lying vacant in Navy is 14,041, while that in Indian Air Force is 13,614.
Replying to another query, the Minister said government has given in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of some Central Public Sector Enterprises including the BEML Ltd.
“Disinvestments through strategic sale are being considered based on recommendations of the NITI Aayog after taking into consideration all aspects of the matter. However, after completion of the process, specific approval of government would be sought again,” Mr Bhamre said.
To a query on defence indigenisation, he said 20 Indian vendors have been introduced to the Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to find out the feasibility of transfer of technology for manufacture of spare parts of Su-30 MKI aircraft.
As part of artillery modernisation approval (acceptance of necessity) has been accorded for procurement of artillery guns including Ultra-Light Howitzers for which orders have already been placed, he said.