Hajin: People on Wednesday helped trapped Lashkar-e-Toiba militants escape by disrupting cordon-and-search operations in North Kashmir’s Hajin town.
Around 11:30 am, government forces cordoned off Hajam Mohalla after receiving information about the presence of militants in the neighbourhood.
As soon as the forces laid the cordon, men, women and youth came out of their homes and clashed with them.
The militants escaped from the cordoned-off area during the clashes.
People from adjacent areas including Khos-Mohalla, Danger Mohalla and Khankah Road also joined the clashes to help the militants’ escape.
Hajin, an erstwhile notorious Ikhwan stronghold, has witnessed a surge in encounters between government forces and militants, hinting at a return of militancy to the area.
A police official said, “About 500 to 700 youths and students of a higher secondary school clashed with government forces to disrupt the cordon-and-search operation.”
During the clashes, forces fired teargas shells to break up the protests.
“We faced a tough law and order situation due to there being a large number of people,” a police official said.
Later, the search operation and cordon were called off, and the militants managed to give the forces the slip.