The death of seven soldiers in the terrorist attack on an Army base in Nagrota provides graphic evidence of the high cost being borne by the armed forces amidst escalating violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The attack comes just two months after militants stormed an Army camp in Uri, resulting in the death of 19 soldiers. Early on Tuesday morning, three terrorists entered the camp in Nagrota, near Jammu city and not very far from the headquarters of 16 Corps, one of the largest and most important corps of the Indian Army. It is important to investigate how heavily armed terrorists reached the 166 Medium Regiment premises in a securitised area, despite several road blocks on the road to Nagrota. Wearing police uniforms, the terrorists reportedly scaled a wall and stormed the base, where many military families were staying. Seven soldiers, including two Majors, were killed as they fought to prevent a hostage situation. At least four unarmed officers, the wives of two officers and two children were among those who were at risk of being taken hostage. According to Army officers, the two women also showed exemplary presence of mind, and blocked their doors with household items.

With the latest incident, at least 89 security personnel have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir so far in 2016. This is the highest figure in almost a decade, or since the gains of the 2003 ceasefire on the India-Pakistan border began to be consolidated. Since the surgical strikes of September 29 in response to the Uri attack, India has lost 27 security personnel. In fact, the attrition rate among the security forces has been going up steadily vis-à-vis the terrorists. Decades of experience in fighting insurgencies and the diverse tactics adopted to reduce security force casualties have in recent months been challenged by the terrorists’ focus on security installations, aimed at causing maximum casualties among the forces. The violence level within Jammu and Kashmir is a result of several factors: the unrest in the Valley, the state of India’s relations with Pakistan, and the situation along the border, both the International Boundary and the Line of Control. On all three fronts, much needs to be done. India-Pakistan bilateral relations have nosedived in recent months. And while New Delhi does not have the luxury of choosing unilaterally between relative peace and a lingering state of low-intensity conflict, there needs to be an appraisal of the costs that have come with the breakdown of the 2003 ceasefire — for instance, crossfire is routinely a cover for Pakistan in assisting terrorists to cross over to Indian territory. Creating peace is a complex process. Drawing up a plan to minimise loss of life will be a good place to begin.


1. Amidst (preposition) (बीच में) – variant of amid
Synonyms – amongst, between
Antonyms – outside, seperate
Ex: The garden sits amidst the museum and the aquarium.

2. Escalating (verb) (तीव्र)– make or become more intense or serious
Synonyms – expand, widen
Antonyms – compress, reduce
Ex: If the price of beef increases, the cost of a hamburger will escalate.

3. Stormed (verb) (पर धावा बोल दिया)– (of troops) suddenly attack and capture (a building or other place) by means of force
Synonyms – assault, bluster
Antonyms – downpour, praise
Ex: Commandos stormed a hijacked plane early today.

4. Regiment (noun) (रेजिमेंट)– a permanent unit of an army typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel and divided into several companies, squadrons, or batteries and often into two battalions
Synonyms – cadre, control
Ex: Because the judge likes order in his courtroom, he will regiment every aspect of a trial.

5. Exemplary (adjective) (नमूने का– (of a punishment) serving as a warning or deterrent
Synonyms – sterling, classic
Antonyms – poor, unworthy
Ex: The men and women of the armed forces are exemplary citizens who put the needs of others before their own needs.

6. Consolidated (verb) (समेकित)– combine (a number of things) into a single more effective or coherent whole
Synonyms – unify, secure
Antonyms – lessen, scatter
Ex: All manufacturing activities have been consolidated in new premises.

7. Attrition (noun) (संघर्षण) – the process of reducing something's strength or effectiveness through sustained attack or pressure
Synonyms – erosion, grinding
Antonyms – building, happiness
Ex: As a result of teacher attrition, a lot of classrooms are overcrowded.

8. Insurgencies (noun) (विद्रोह) – movement within a country dedicated to overthrowing the government
Synonyms – revolution, sedition
Antonyms – calm, obedience
Ex: There were also several minor revolts in California, somewhat like Texas, insurgencies by foreign invaders from the US.

9. Tactics (noun) (युक्ति) – an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end
Synonyms – approach, scheme
Ex: I'm an urban warfare tactics trainer, specializing in tracking.

10. Assisting (verb) (की सहायता) – help (someone), typically by doing a share of the work
Synonyms – assistant, subsidiary
Antonyms – impeding
Ex: Lenar was assisting with the research.

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