New Delhi: The ceasefire violation by Pakistan, which is being seen as one of the worst in recent times, happened in Mendhar in the Poonch district in Jammu across the Line of Control (LoC). The area that comes under the 16 Corps is located south of the Pir Panjal.
All across the Line of Control, the deployment of Indian army troops differs. While in some posts, soldiers from both sides may be in an eyeball-to-eyeball contact, in some other stretches, there maybe a fair amount of the distance between them.
Notably, the Line of Control, broadly implying the military control between the two sides, isn't a legally recognised international border, but is the defacto border between India and Pakistan.
It is a brutal place that zig zags as the topography of the area changes. In some places it is heavily forested while in some there are rough terrain, and some are relatively low lying. And because of this, India and Pakistan armies hold different positions of domination.
Mendhar is expected to be a counter message by Pakistan for what happened in Uri, which is north of the Pir Panjal, where two Pakistani soldiers died over the weekend.
Mendhar has also been called a significant escalation in ceasefire violations, partly owing to the brutality of the assault. There have been atleast a dozen violations in December at various point in the LoC, and 71 violations in 2012.
Some of these violations and firing are often just a cover for infiltration. It must be noted that the border fencing in Jammu and Kashmir runs about a 550 km stretch along the 740 km of the LoC.
The fence, constructed by India, generally remains about 150 yards on the Indian-controlled side. There are villages that exist even beyond the fencing, adding to concerns of infiltration. Also, about 80 km of the fence is damaged due to heavy snowfall every year.
The fencing apart, commanders on the ground often underline how it is impossible to seal all routes of ingress. After the Uri incident, signals would have been sent to all units to remain cautious and alert, and strengthen their area dominating teams.
Uri and Mendhar now, but it is a cycle. By January end, heavy snowfall would mean the upper reaches would be out of bounds, making any kind of movement impossible. And by mid April, when the snow melts, the theatre often shifts.