Security Forces resume search operation in Kupwara

GJ Report SRINAGAR, Nov 23: Security Forces on Thursday resumed massive search operation in the vast forest area in the frontier district of Kupwara, where four militants, including an infiltrator, were killed in two different encounter during the past 48 hours. Two soldiers were also martyred and four others were injured in the encounter in the district, where militants, waiting at launch pads near the Line of Control (LoC), are trying to infiltrate into this side before the higher reaches receive heavy snowfall. The vast forest area has been sealed and Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) is going on in the frontier district of Kupwara, a defence ministry spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said this morning. He said with the first light this morning, security forces resumed search operation in the woods near the LoC in Keran sector, where a major infiltration bid was foiled by the troops on Wednesday. “We are conducting massive search operation in the entire woods near the LoC in the sector, where a group of militants was noticed sneaking into this side. The operation was stopped late last night to avoid any further casualty,” he said, adding that all area was sealed to foil any attempt by militants to escape Unidentified militants, believed to a foreigner, and a soldier were killed and two jawans were injured in the initial exchange of fire, he said, adding that no fresh contact was established with the militants. Security forces from nearby camps have also joined the operation, he said. Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Range, Muneer Ahmad Khan said that next few weeks will be very crucial as more militants will try to sneak into this side before the infiltration routes are closed due to snowfall. This year about 66 infiltrators were killed immediately after they sneaked into this side near the LoC. Meanwhile, a massive search operation continued in the frontier district of Kupwara, where a soldier was martyred and two others were injured when militants attacked a police party conducting search operation on Tuesday. Three Pakistani militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in a fierce encounter by security forces in another encounter in this district on Monday. Col Kalia said that there was no change in the situation as security forces continued search operation at Zirhama, Kupwara. “We have lost a soldier and two others were injured in the encounter so far,” he said. He further said following specific information about presence of militants at Zirhama in Kupwara, a joint search operation was launched by 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), 98 battalion of CRPF and Special Operations Group (SOG) of state police in the area. However, when security forces were moving towards a particular area, the militants hiding there, fired at them with automatic weapons. “Three Army jawans were injured in the exchange of fire,” he said, adding that one of them later succumbed. Col Kalia said additional security forces have already been rushed from nearby camps and all exit points have been sealed to foil any militant attempt to escape. However, so far no fresh contact was established with the militants.