Kupwara: Even after having been officially called off on Thursday afternoon, the search operation in Halmatpora and Batargam forest areas in Kupwara continues to nab the militants believed to have escaped from the site of the encounter that began on Tuesday and claimed the lives of five militants, three army soldiers and two policemen.
Residents of these areas said that hundreds of army, police and CRPF troops along with para commandos and sniffer dogs continue to search the dense Halmatpora forests and the neighbouring Batargam forest range. The government forces have cordoned off these areas since Wednesday and no one is being allowed to go near. It is believed that some militants escaped from the encounter site on Wednesday.
Locals said that government forces have expanded their search operation in other adjoining areas. A senior police officer in Kupwara said that the operation was called off on Thursday afternoon and only routine checking is being conducted in the area.