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First ever zero battle casualty in Siachen, courtesy ceasefire
Anil Bhatt | September 28, 2005 09:40 IST
Having claimed 2,100 battle hardened troopers' lives since its takeover in 1984, the world's highest and coldest battlefield Siachen glacier has achieved the first-ever zero battle casualty during the nearly two-year old Indo-Pak border ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir.
"We have lost 2,100 of our brave men in Siachen glacier sector since its takeover under 'Operation Meghdoot' in 1984. The daily cross-border shelling and harsh climate took its toll of armymen. But this time, there was zero battle casualty due to the 21-month Indo-Pak border truce amid total peace and tranquility," top defence sources told PTI.
During the over one-and-half year period, there has been no casualty on account of shelling and firing as guns on the two sides of the Line Of Control in Siachen and elsewhere have fallen silent, they said.
Prior to the November 26, 2003 Indo-Pak border ceasefire, shelling and firing from across the border was as a daily routine, they said, adding that presently there had been no violation of the ceasefire on both sides of the LOC in past 21 months.
The sources said that in 1984, when the army took possession of the glacier, there were heavy casualties. But with the passage of time and improvement in living conditions and equipment, deaths due to the climate had drastically reduced.
There are now snow scooters, costly winter clothing and communication in Siachen, they said, adding that soldiers lived in pre-fabricated tunnels with a specific temperature.
Besides, improved medi-care facilities have made the life of the soliders on the glacier better.
Giving a breakup, they said that in 2000, 204 troopers were killed, followed by 198 in 2001, 201 in 2002, 187 in 2003, 23 in 2004 and just two in 2005.
The two deaths reported this year have been due to the harsh climate and glaciated terrain, they added.
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