CASO in Churath called off as militants escape
Anantnag: A complete shutdown was observed on Saturday in Vessu area of Anantnag on the first death anniversary of a local Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant, Ruhul Amin.
There were no clashes reported in the area and the traffic on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, passing through the Vessu village, plied normally.
Ruhul Amin was killed along with LeT divisional commander Majid Zargar in Arwini area of Bijbehara last year. The charred remains of the two militants were retrieved from the site of the encounter after 42 hours of a fierce exchange of gunfire between the two militants and government forces.
Though there was no way to identify the charred remains of the militants, families of Ruhul and Zargar claimed the slain were their children based on reports of different sources and the duo’s weapons.
Local sources in Vessu told Kashmir Reader that posters had been pasted in the area in advance declaring that a shutdown be observed today.
“This morning, public address systems in local mosques were used to play pro-freedom taranas and to raise slogans,” a local told Kashmir Reader.
He said that people distributed juice and dates to passersby throughout the day.
“Though there were no clashes, there was a small confrontation between local boys and CRPF personnel. The situation was taken care of by the elders,” he said.
Meanwhile in neighboring Churath village, the Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) launched late Friday evening was called off some time before midnight.
“The militants, believed to be three in number, had managed to escape. The operation was called off after satisfactory searches were carried out,” a senior police officer in Kulgam district told Kashmir Reader.
Clashes had erupted in the area soon after the CASO was launched. Government forces had to resort to aerial firing and tear smoke shelling to disperse the protesting locals.