India has started constructing underground bunkers along its frontier with Pakistan in Kashmir in the past two weeks, amid growing fears the nuclear-armed rivals are preparing for a major escalation in conflict.
The fortification work comes as troops on the Indian side told the Telegraph that cross-border gunfire in northern Kashmir now occurs “every night”.
Work on the bunkers began after a deadly militant attack on India’s Uri army base in north Kashmir on September 18, which killed 19 soldiers and provoked massive public anger in India.
New Delhi blamed the attack on Pakistan-backed militants, and responded in public by launching so-called “surgical strikes” across the border into the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan.
But a visit by the Telegraph to a military checkpoint near Uri in Indian-controlled Kashmir revealed the country’s army has quietly but decisively bolstered its fortifications along the “Line of Control”.
The timing of the new fortifications indicate India’s military either planned or expected an increase in hostilities more than a week before launching its “surgical strikes” last Thursday.