Advertisement
Thursday, Oct 28, 2021
Outlook.com

In The Line Of Fire

Why does a forest in Kashmir catch fire? Well, even peacetime looks like war in the border areas. Artillery fire from across, and our own firing ranges, constantly singe the woods.

In The Line Of Fire
In The Line Of Fire
outlookindia.com
2021-05-07T13:56:53+05:30

Forests catch fire for many reasons, but near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, there is an additional factor: routine cross-LoC shelling that has long been a marker of strained Indo-Pak relations in these parts even when the two countries are not at war. No wonder, not just people living close to the LoC but also the forests breathe a little more freely when the mortars fall silent. And the mortars have ind­eed been silent since the two neighbours agreed to a “strict observance ceasefire” in February. Earlier, according to forest officials, mortar shelling was leading to frequent forest fires.

“Forests in areas like Saidpur and Badar Kot used to catch fire due to ­regular shelling, and the fires were ­difficult to extinguish amid continuous shelling and firing,” says an official. Until last year, there were fires every year in the forests along the LoC ­during summer, especially in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district and Karnah sector in Kashmir—all ­attributed to cross-LoC shelling. In May last year, a massive fire engulfed a large forested stretch at Mendhar in Balakote sector of Poonch district. Exploding shells caused the fire, which, in turn, triggered several ­landmines that had been planted to ­prevent infiltration. In May 2017, Nowshera witnessed a forest fire that raged for several days after heavy shelling across the LoC.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay HC Adjourns Hearing Of Bail Petition Till Tomorrow

Aryan Khan Drug Case: Bombay HC Adjourns Hearing Of Bail Petition Till Tomorrow

Justice Sambre has once again adjourned the hearing. The Bombay High Court will hear the petitions of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha tomorrow afternoon after 2.30 pm.

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Mandi Bypoll: 'Do They Want Me To Become Sati?', Asks Congress Candidate Pratibha Singh

Pratibha Singh talks about her decision to contest the poll and carry forward the legacy of ‘Raja Sahib’, ex-Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh.

IPL: Sourav Ganguly Steps Down As ATKMB Director

IPL: Sourav Ganguly Steps Down As ATKMB Director

ATK Mohun Bagan is owned by Sanjiv Goenka-led RPSG Group, which will now own an IPL team based out of Lucknow.

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Pegasus Snooping Row: SC Cites 'Right To Privacy', Appoints 3-Member Probe Panel

Stressing on the right to privacy, CJI Ramana said it was incumbent upon the Centre to seriously consider the use of such a technology.

Advertisement