Srinagar: Government forces on Wednesday afternoon launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in Batamaloo area of Srinagar after receiving information about presence of militants there.
Large contingents of special operations group (SOG) of JK Police and paramilitary CRPF cordoned off Kashi Mohalla area at 2:30pm and conducted door-to-door searches.
A senior CRPF official told Kashmir Reader that the search operation was conducted to nab militants. “There was input of few militants, about three in number, hiding in the area. They were planning to create disturbances on the eve of Eid by carrying out attacks on (government) forces in and around Srinagar city,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
The search operation zeroed in on a particular area where searches of 10-15 houses were conducted.
“Government forces looked in every house, like in the ’90s when army used to conduct searches in Batamaloo,” locals said.
The search operation was called off when the militants could not be found. Sources in the police told KR that the militants were believed to have escaped.
The sources said that a single shot was fired by troops in the hope of establishing contact with the hiding militants, but they had apparently fled from the spot already. “Forces had opened a single fire, thinking the militants will respond to it. However, it was not responded to,” said the sources.
Locals said that the cordon and search operation was called off within an hour and no one was detained.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Central Kashmir Ghulam Hassan Bhat refused to comment on the search operation.
“We can’t tell you what was it was about,” Bhat said when asked if police had inputs of militants’ presence in Batamaloo
A senior police officer said that police had two days ago received inputs of militants’ presence in Srinagar city. “Forces are on the job to trace them out. They (militants) are believed to be changing their locations on daily basis,” said the officer.
On June 9, government forces had launched a CASO at Court Road area near Lal Chowk. CRPF, police and SOG men had cordoned off the entire Court Road and conducted searches in most of the business establishments. The forces had also cordoned off the area from the Bund side and had conducted searches of few business establishments there also.