Srinagar: Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Munir Khan has said that police have started special operations to bust militant hideouts in the upper reaches of south Kashmir.
“We have been conducting operations to bust hideouts,” Khan told Kashmir Reader. “To begin with, we have started massive operations in Tral, during which we have busted four major hideouts. The operations to this effect will continue,” he said.
When asked if militants had relocated to the upper reaches to evade tracking by government forces, Khan said there was a consistent effort by the militants to shift to safer places. “There is pressure on militants. That is why we have witnessed some encounters in the upper reaches,” Khan said. “We can’t say with authority right now if it is a change in strategy; there have been encounters in the plains as well. We can surmise, though, that the space is squeezing for their activities.”
In the past week, police and other government forces have launched cordon and search operations mostly in the upper reaches of south Kashmir.
On November 14, a militant and an army soldier were killed and a policeman injured during a gunfight in the remote Kund Qazigund area of Kulgam district. The operation in the forested area continued till Friday evening as it was reported that militants were still hiding in the forests.
On the same day, an overnight cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) was launched by government forces in Lam forests of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. It ended today after more than twenty hours. A hideout of Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit was busted in the operation, said an official statement.
On November 8, a CASO was launched by government forces in Lehan Dajan area of Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Official sources said that the forces had received specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
In north Kashmir, on Nov 10, a CASO was launched after specific inputs about the presence of militants in several villages in frontier Kupwara district. The searches failed to find any militant.
The IGP has said that a total of 170 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year, including the ones killed along the Line of Control.