2016 proved to be a year of heightened escalation along the Indian borders on the western front, both on the Line of Control and the International Border.
The Indian frontiers were subject to unprovoked firing and cease fire violations from across the border with an end objective to promote terrorism and insurgency in the Kashmir valley.
The brutal terror attack on an Indian army base along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri, Kashmir which left 19 army personnel dead became an inflection point in India's defence and strategic policy towards their South Asian neighbors Pakistan.
The Surgical strikes done by the Indian Army Para Commandos to destroy terror launch pads across the border in response to the Uri terror lead to a spate of barbaric attacks by the Pakistan forces.
The combat escalation ladder was stepped up by both the Indian and Pakistan security forces post the Surgical strikes with the Indian forces giving a befitting counter to Pakistan's artillery and mortar shelling on forward army posts and civilians residing along the Line of control.
As a matter of fact, India was ranked 7th in the list of countries most impacted by terrorism in 2015, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), 2016, released by the Institute for Economics & Peace, a Sydney-based think-tank. India is one of six Asian countries ranked in the top 10 nations most impacted by terrorism.
Here is the list of major terror attacks which struck our nation in 2016
1. Pathankot Air Force Station - 2 January 2016
The main target of this major terror attack from across the border was fighter aircraft and other strategic assets at the air base. On the morning of January 1, four terrorists—earlier believed to be six—breached the boundary wall and launched the attack at 3.10 am the next day. The counter-terror operation by the army, police and intelligence agencies led by the NSG ended on the evening of January 3 with the killing of the terrorists. Five DSC personnel and a Garud Commando were also killed.
2. Pampore - 25 June 2016
A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy was attacked at Pampore in J&K. The officers and men who were travelling in the convoy were returning from an annual firing practice session. Two militants fired at a bus which was part of the convoy. Eight CRPF personnel and 22 officers and jawans were injured. The two militants were killed in retaliatory fire from a mobile bunker.
3. Bodo militants attack Kokrajhar City - August 2016
The massacre in the state of Assam was reportedly carried out by Bodo militants - a predominantly Christian armed separatist group which aims to create a separate homeland for the Bodo people.
A group of at least three assailants opened fire at a market in Balajan Tiniali, around two miles from the town of Kokrajhar, possibly using grenades to kill shoppers among the stalls of fruit and vegetables.One of the attackers was killed by security officials, whereas the remaining two managed to escape.
4. Uri Terror Attack - 18 September 2016
Four heavily armed terrorists infiltrated through the Line of Control (LoC) and attacked the administrative camp of an infantry battalion, just seven kilometres from the LoC. Nineteen soldiers were killed in the attack, including 13 who were burnt alive due to the incendiary ammunition fired by the terrorists. About 32 other soldiers sustained injuries in the attack. The slain terrorists belonged to the Pakistan-based terror outfit, JeM.
5. 2016 Baramulla attack - 2nd/3rd October 2016
On the midnight of the second and third of October 2016, militants attacked a camp of the Indian Army's 46 Rashtriya Rifles in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, India.The attack was said to have begun at 10:30 PM local time, with at least one officer of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) killed and a few others injured. Two militants were also reportedly killed. On October 6, the Indian army exchanged fire with militants Kupwara district, and 3 militants were killed.
6. Nagrota Terror Attack - 29 November 2016
Seven soldiers, including two officers, were killed in the attack on an army unit located three kilometres away from a Corps headquarters in Nagrota in J&K. Heavily armed terrorists were disguised in police uniforms. They stormed into the officers' mess complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentires.