In a bid to ‘reclaim’ and ‘reassert’ their hold on the South Kashmir area, armed personnel along with CRPF and Police carried out massive anti-militancy operation in Shopian villages.
Importantly, South Kashmir which is presently known as the emerging hotbed of militancy in the Valley saw a combing operation reminiscent of the early 90’s.
Sources said that government forces in the wee hours of Thursday cordoned off around a dozen-odd villages in Shopian district of south Kashmir and started searches to look for militants.
The operations were launched in six villages falling under Zainapora sub district in Shopian after security forces received information about movement of militants there, a police official said.
The villages which were under cordon include Turkwangam, Sugan, Hefkuri, Dragad, Malnad, chitragam, Chudipora, Nagbal and its adjacent areas.
The cordon was laid down by a joint team of 55-Rashtriya Rifles, 44 Rashtriya Rifles, 114 CRPF and police and SOG from Shopian, reports said.
South Kashmir has seen a spate of attacks on financial institutions and political personalities.
The house to house search operation was conducted and mainly the Orchards of the area were searched as forces were expecting the militants to be hiding in the orchards.
Reports said that drone cameras and helicopters were also seen hovering over the sky during the search operation.
Additional security force personnel were rushed to the area to chase away the stone-pelters who tried to disrupt the operation at several places. The clashes continued for more than two hours.
No casualties have been reported in the clashes between stone pelters and security forces, official added.
Recently, videos of large groups of militants – in some cases as many as 30 – have surfaced on social media, despite ban imposed by authorities on 22 such sites and applications.
Security agencies believe that these videos were shot in south Kashmir area, especially Shopian district.
On May 1st, 7 persons including 5 policemen and 2 bank guards were killed in a militant attack and on 2 May late evening militants decamped with 5 rifles including 4 Insas and one AK 47 from policemen guarding the District Court Complex in Shopian.
Police believes that same group of militants are involved in both the incidents and forces were expecting the same group of militants is hiding there, police official said.