The Lal Chowk attack is still on in Srinagar. Loud explosions and firing were heard at 10:30 pm. Police and CRPF have decided to continue the assault instead of halting it for the night.
Unlike the past nightlong encounters in Srinagar, police have decided not to halt fire for the night. In most such encounters, security forces would halt fire for the night and would launch the final assault at the crack of the dawn.
Police sources said the security forces involved in the assault find it difficult to locate the militants hiding in the area. Though it’s believed the militants are hiding in Hotel Punjab, the police fear they might have changed their positions. The encounter started at 2 pm in the afternoon on Wednesday.
Security forces have launched attack from three sides to scuttle any attempt by the militants to escape in the cover of darkness. The whole area has been lit up by flash lights. The encounter has entered into ninth hour. There is no sign of scaling down of use of weapons from both sides.
What would make it difficult for security forces to neutralize the militants is sub-zero temperature. The valley witnessed a snowfall two days ago and night temperature has touched even minus four in the night. This is also forcing security forces to finish the assault as soon as possible.
Unconfirmed reports put the number of security forces’ casualty at two now.