There were 15 terror attacks on the army last year as the force lost 68 soldiers, the Lok Sabha was today informed. 2016 also recorded 449 instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Jammu and Kashmir border. In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Subhash Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence, said 10 cases of terror attacks were recorded in 2014, followed by 11 in 2015, 15 in 2016 and three until March 15 this year. 2015 and 2016 also saw a spike in the number of deaths of army personnel, recording 67 and 68 casualties respectively in terror attacks and along the border.
In 2014, 38 army personnel died in terror acts while 13 have lost their lives this year.
Bhamre said, in 2016 the area along the Line of Control, which is under operational control of the army, saw 228 instances of ceasefire violations while the area along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, under the control of the Border Security Force (BSF), recorded 221 instances of ceasefire violations.
This accounts for more than one instance of ceasefire violation everyday.
In 2017, 30 instances of ceasefire violations were recorded along the LoC while six such instances along the international border were recorded until February 6 by the BSF.
(REOPENS DES 16) In response to another question, Bhamre said, the army has conducted joint exercises with 18 countries over the last three years. The Air Force has conducted exercises with eight countries and the navy conducted joint exercises with 14 countries. India also signed defence agreements with 21 countries, Bhamre said. Responding to another question related to vacant posts in Armed Forces Tribunal, Bhamre said 15 posts of members (judicial and administrative) are lying vacant in the AFT while 217 posts of Group A, B and C are also vacant. "The ministry has taken action for filling up of existing vacancies and also the anticipated vacancies upto June 30, 2017," the minister said. In response to another question related to shortage of assault rifles in the army, Bhamre said, a fresh proposal has been initiated to procure new assault rifles which would meet desired operational parameters.
(REOPENS DES21) In response to another question, Bhamre said the ministry of defence has issued guidelines for penalties in business dealings with blacklisted entities, which have come into effect from November 21, 2016. To a query, Bhamre said there are 141 defence manufacturing units in the country in public and private sectors and approximately 65.62 per cent of procurement needs of army, air force and navy for 2015-16 have been met through indigenous sources. He said, so far 36 FDI proposals/joint ventures have been approved in the defence sector for manufacture of various defence equipment. Rs 3,164 crores allocated for modernisation of armed forces remained underutilised, he said. To another question on defence projects under 'Make in India' scheme, Bhamre said a committee of experts headed by Dhirendra Singh had made recommendations to the government on 'Strategic Partnership Model' for creating capacity in private sector on a long term basis. "Besides this, the V K Atre Task Force was also constituted to lay down criteria for selection of Strategic Partners for various platforms from the private sector. "Meanwhile, capital acquisitions are being undertaken as per the extant defence procurement procedures, which are aligned to the 'Make In India' initiative of government. "In the last two financial years and the current year, 134 capital procurement proposals have been accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs), of which 96 cases will involve contracts with Indian vendors," he said. Responding to another question, the minister said, approximately 10,220 acres of defence land is presently under encroachment by various agencies of central and state governments and other private persons.