Cordon laid in Aribagh, Kanipora, Hawal; CRPF officer says growing militant presence suspected in Srinagar
Srinagar: Intelligence inputs on growing militant presence in Srinagar are keeping the government troops on their toes in the city. Government forces have conducted a number of cordon and search operations (CASOs) in different areas of Srinagar in recent weeks. Fresh CASOs and searches were conducted in Aribagh, Kanipora and Hawal areas of Srinagar on Thursday.
A senior CRPF official told Kashmir Reader that government forces jointly cordoned off Hawal area at 8am, after receiving inputs of presence of militants there.
“Searches were conducted in a number of houses, as well as in public establishments to nab the militants,” said the official.
He said the searches yielded nothing and the cordon was lifted without arresting or detaining anyone.
Similar searches were conducted in Noorbagh, Waganpora and other adjoining areas of downtown on Thursday.
Locals said that large contingents of police and CRPF cordoned off these areas and conducted door-to-door searches at around 12 noon.
Government troops also launched a CASO in Aribagh area on the outskirts of Srinagar at 1pm after receiving inputs of militant presence in the area. Troops in large numbers cordoned off Aribagh area and searched a number of houses there.
“Massive searches were held in the area on the same pattern as were held during curfews in the ’90s,” locals told Kashmir Reader.
A senior police official said that government forces have intensified anti-militancy operations in Srinagar. “We don’t want to take any chance. Srinagar city is an important place and any breach of security or militancy related attack will give rise to a sense of insecurity among people,” the officer said.
“We don’t want militants to feel free to carry out attacks within the Srinagar areas,” he added.
The officer told Kashmir Reader that intelligence inputs of presence of militants in different areas of Srinagar have come in the past week.
“From the main city to the old-city areas and even on the outskirts, searches are being conducted for sanitisation and to keep militants away from Srinagar district,” he said.
He said that the militant attack in Hyderpora on a police naka (checkpoint) had created certain apprehensions within the security set-up. “Inputs of militants planning to attack forces’ establishments in areas of the old city were also received recently,” he said.
The officer said that the entire security grid has been instructed to beef up operations within Srinagar.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray told Kashmir Reader that searches were being conducted as a “regular exercise for law and order” in Srinagar areas.
“Today’s searches in Kanipora area were the same as a regular exercise. There was no input of militant presence there. The searches ended up peacefully without any stone-pelting clashes erupting in the area,” he said.