SRINAGAR: After conducting regular anti-militancy operations in south Kashmir, security forces on Saturday launched combing and search operation (CASO) in Lal Chowk, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, after information about presence of militants.
The police and CRPF men laid siege around the Court Road and Bund area in city centre Lal Chowk this morning to conduct combing and search operations. The troops were armed with RPGs and automatic weapons.
The operation continued for about an hour during which security personnel conducted searches in houses and commercial building in the area. The security personnel also conducted frisking of people and thorough searches of vehicles passing through the area.
However, no contact was established with the militants and later security forces called off the operation.
CRPF spokesman Rajesh Yadav told New Indian Express that they had information that militants were present in Lal Chowk and around the Bund area.
He said after receiving the information, the security personnel launched CASO in the area to track down the militants.
However, the operation was called off after no contact was established with the militants, Yadav said.
Asked whether militants are present in Srinagar, he said, “We have got inputs that militants are present in Srinagar and this is why we launched the CASO in Lal Chowk today”.
He said he cannot give the exact number of militants present in Srinagar but intelligence inputs with security agencies reveal that militants are present in the summer capital.
Yadav said there can be more cordon and search operations in Srinagar in coming days because these are area domination and preventive measure.
The CASO is one of the measures to avert militant attacks.
“Besides, the deployments area on alert to foil any militant attacks in Srinagar or any other parts of the Valley,” the CRPF spokesman said.
Today’s CASO was first such operation in Srinagar after a long time. The CASO have been confined to south Kashmir, which is turning out to be stronghold of militants. Besides, some anti-militancy operations have been conducted in north Kashmir.
ITBP convoy attacked
Militants fired attacked ITBP convoy near Vessu, Qazigund in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district early this morning.
A police spokesman said militants fired from AK-47 rifles towards the ITBP convoy.
“A car travelling on the road was hit by bullets, injuring a person Arif Ahmad travelling in the vehicle. He was rushed to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment,” he said.
He said about 20 empty cases of AK ammunition were recovered from the spot.
Another militant killed at LoC
Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Rajesh Kalia said troops foiled an infiltration bid in Gurez sector of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district today.
He said a militant was killed and a weapon recovered from his possession.
Kalia said combing operation in the Gurez sector was going on.
With the killing of the militant, the death toll of militants killed by army while foiling five infiltration bids along LoC in north Kashmir in last four days has risen to 13. An army man was also killed during gunfight with militants while foiling one of the infiltration bids.
According to army, 24 infiltration attempts of militants (including today’s in Gurez sector) have been foiled along the LoC in the State this year and 40 militants killed.