Security forces have upped its anti-militancy operations in Kashmir as they laid another siege in south Kashmir to nab militants just a day after killing two militants in north Kashmir’s Handwara district.
A special team, comprising army personnel, police’s special operation group, threw a cordon of Kellar village, more than 60 km south of Srinagar, in the afternoon. A specific area called Khanday Mohalla was circled by heavily-armed security forces along with their heavy weight vehicles carrying men and ammunition. The security forces were working on a lead about the militant presence in the area.
“The encounter started in the afternoon. It’s on. No confirmation on the number of militants holed up or the death toll,” said army’s Srinagar-based spokesman J.S.Brar.
Eyewitnesses in the area told the Hindustan Times that militants fired at the search party of the security forces from a house. The security forces and the militants exchanged heavy fire when they came in contact in Khanday Mohalla. “There was heavy fire from militants initially,” said a resident pleading anonymity. The security forces have returned fire and the encounter till late in the evening was on.
In the first round of exchange of firing, a superintendent of police (Operations) and his deputy escaped miraculous.
In a separate operation launched in north Kashmir’s Handwara area on Wednesday, the death toll of militants reached two as the security forces recovered one more body. The identity of the militant, recovered from a house in Laribal village, was not established immediately. The gunfight ended yesterday but the operation was on to comb the encounter site. One AK47 Rifle, two magazines, one wireless set and a Global Positioning System (GPS) were recovered from the encounter site.
This summer the militants are on the receiving end as the comprehensive network of the security forces have kept them at bay. Sources said the security forces are ensuring that the militants do not establish bases in civilian areas and are pushing them into forests. The strategy has paid as the militants have been paralyzed to launch any attack in towns and cities in recent times in Kashmir valley.