Jammu, November 20
The Army, with the assistance of the district administration of Kargil, has defused at least 336 unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Kurbathang area this year. On November 17, Army officers had destroyed 132 unexploded shells in the area.
The remnants of the Kargil war that took place in 1999 still haunt the local population as unexploded shells are frequently found hither and thither. The Army is focusing on de-mining the areas to ensure safety of the local population.
An Army official said, “In continued efforts to ensure safety for all and eliminate the threat to life, the fearless Operations Division, in close coordination with the civil administration, disposed of 134 UXOs on November 17 at Kurbathang area, taking the total numbers of the unexploded ordnance destroyed in the area to 336 this season.”
Before taking up the de-mining exercises, the local administration is informed about it which further asks the local population not to venture out in the area. During the sanitisation drive, magistrate, tehsildar and police officials are stationed near the area to keep a watch on the exercise. Kurbathang also has a football ground that is visited by many children on a daily basis.
In April this year, a minor boy was killed and two others injured in the area when they found an unexploded shell and started fiddling with it. The area was reportedly a firing range for the Army years ago. It is believed that some unexploded shells are present here from the Kargil war era.
Kargil Tehsildar Kacho Asgar said the area was isolated but had a football ground frequented by many people. “The population is asked to remain away from the area where de-mining exercise starts. It takes hours for the drive to complete before we open the area for the people,” said Asgar. He said the Army had conducted many drives to remove unexploded shells from the area.
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