Srinagar: An Army officer was injured in a firing incident in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, a defence spokesman said. "An officer deployed in the Pratap Pur Sector suffered gunshot wound at around 1050 hours today (Friday)," Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said. He said the injured officer was immediately evacuated to a nearby military hospital and is under treatment. Details of the incident are being ascertained, the spokesman said.
The incident took place at the Siachen glacier in the region. The Siachen Glacier, in the Karakorum range, is the world`s highest battlefield. The troops deployed there have to battle the extreme weather and highly challenging terrain conditions, for maintaining the security of the borders of the nation.
The government spends around Rs 800 crore annually in import of Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) and mountaineering kits for soldiers guarding the glacier at the heights ranging from 16,000 feet to 20,000 feet, according to official data.
Last year, the Army gave final touches to a long-pending project to manufacture specialised clothing, sleeping kits and key equipment for its soldiers deployed in the Siachen glacier. The items which will be produced in India include thermal insoles, snow goggles, ice axe, boots, avalanche victim detector, rock pitons, karabiner-related mountaineering equipment and sleeping bags.
The soldiers here have to battle frostbite and high winds. Avalanches and landslides are common at the glacier during the winter and temperatures can drop to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius. According to official figure, the Army lost 163 personnel deployed at the glacier, the worlds highest battlefield, during the last 10 years. The Army first mooted the idea of indigenous production of the high-altitude clothing and equipment around 10 years ago.
India and Pakistan started deploying troops at the strategically key glacier in 1984. The sources said the high-altitude equipment are being divided into two categories. The first lot will be for those deployed in the range of 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet and second category will be for those guarding the border beyond the heights of 12,000 feet.