Sopore attack: Army, SOG intensify search for militants

Mushtaq Ahmed
Baramulla: Army and Special Operations Group (SOG) of police conducted searches for the second consecutive day Wednesday in Sopore town of this north Kashmir district, a day after a police officer was killed and three cops injured in a brief gun-battle with militants.
On Tuesday, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Kafeel Ahmed (43-SPR) was killed, and constables Manzoor Ganai (822-SPR), Zakir (821-SPR) and Irfan (124-SPR) were injured when militants opened random fire on them during a cordon and search operation in Chankhan locality of Sopore. The militants, whose number was not known, had managed to break the cordon and flee from the spot.
Teams of army and SOG wearing bullet proof vests and headgear carried out day-long searches in Chankhan, HathiShah, Sher Colony, Krankshivan, Batpora, Amargarh and other areas of the town to nab the militants, who carried out Tuesday’s deadly attack, reports and eyewitnesses Wednesday said. The forces also took the services of specially trained sniffer dogs to locate the militants. Alert forces also conducted searches through orchards and agricultural fields. Searches were also carried out at the entry and exit points of the Apple Township.
“Besides, searches of passenger and private vehicles were also carried out by the forces. The cops verified the credentials of the people, especially the youth by seeking identity from them. The searches continued throughout the day,” Abdul Ahad, a resident of Chankhan told Kashmir Reader.
Meanwhile, police said on Wednesday that they were close to a breakthrough related to the Tuesday’s militant attack in Chankhan that left an SOG officer dead.
“We’re very close in this case. A breakthrough is expected within next two to three days,” Superintendent of Police (SP) Sopore, Abdul Qayoom told Kashmir Reader.
He also denied the reports that police had arrested two youth after the encounter. He said that only one man was arrested for questioning.
“Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, who is the son of the house owner, is in our custody. He has been picked up for questioning. We have not arrested anyone else,” Qayoom said.
He also termed the condition of the three injured cops stable.