RAASHID HASSAN/Bilal habib
SHOPIAN /Pampore: Government forces on Wednesday launched a major cordon around over a dozen villages in Shopian.
In the wee hours, forces cordoned off villages Sugan, Turkwangam, Nulay-Poshwari, Molu, Chitragam, Nagbal, Urapora, Kadgam, Heff-Shirmal, Kaeshiv, Maldair, Barbug, Badigam and other villages nearby, prompting villagers to stay indoors. Troopers conducted door-to-door searches, but nothing was found.
Muhammad Sultan, a resident of Turkwangam, told Kashmir Reader that a siege was laid around the village in the wee hours and door-to-door searches of about 60 residences were conducted in his village.
Villagers from Nagbal, Urapora and Barbug told Kashmir Reader that door-to-door searches were also conducted in their villages.
It was the sixth such major siege in Shopian, south Kashmir. Early in May, a major cordon and search operation was launched in the district, and protests were also witnessed during the siege.
Senior superintendent of police, Shopian, S A Dinkar was not available to comment.
Meanwhile, a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was concluded amid intense stone pelting in Chandham village in Babgam area of Pulwama district, without contact being established with the militants.
The CASO was launched in Chandgam village at about 4.30 pm Wednesday following inputs regarding the presence of militants in the village.
As soon as the operation was launched, dozens of locals came out and started pelting stones at the government forces.
“The forces used tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesting youth,” local sources said. There were, however, no reports of injuries to anybody.
The searches continued for about one and a half hours, despite intense clashes, before the operation was called off.
Superintendent of police Pulwama Chawdhary Aslam confirmed that the operation was called off.
“Not because there was stone pelting. The CASO was called off after proper searches in the cordoned-off area despite the stone throwing. No contact was established with the militants,” Aslam told Kashmir Reader.