Indian Army launches massive anti-terror operation Kashmir; 3000 men, choppers deployed

Sriparna Ghosh
An Indian army soldier keeps guard from a bunker near the border with Pakistan

A massive anti-terror operation was launched on Thursday, May 4, in Kashmir's Shopian district as a result of surge in attacks and robberies by militants and other reports of large groups of terrorists moving freely in the area made the headlines.

Almost two dozen villages in Shopian district have been cordoned off, as the Indian Army along with other security forces launched the anti-terror operation.

This is the first major security operation in Kashmir this year. Such security operations were called off last year because of large-scale protests and an increase in stone-pelting incidents

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Reports say that more than 3,000 personnel of the army, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police are a part of the anti-terror operation that started the operations on early on Thursday.

The security personnel are also searching the orchards and forest areas as there have been reports of movements of heavily armed terrorists in these orchards. Choppers have been deployed to facilitate the search.

On Tuesday (May 2) night, suspected terrorists barged into a police post guarding the court complex of southern Shopian and decamped with five service weapons including four INSAS rifles and an AK-47 rifle.

The cash van that was looted on May 1, 2017 in Kashmir's Kulgam district.

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Five more policeman and two civilians were killed on Monday (May 1) when several terrorists opened fire on a van belonging to a bank in Kulgam. After firing at the van, the terrorists had dragged policemen and bank officials out of the van and shot them at point-blank range. The terrorists decamped with four more service rifles.

On Wednesday (May 3), unidentified gunmen looted two banks in Pulwama district of South Kashmir within a span of two hours. According to Pulwama Superintendant of Police Rayees Mohammed Bhat, a preliminary investigation has revelaed the involvement of terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

"Until now, we have identified one militant each from Padgampora and Khagpura, which proves Lashkar's involvement in the incident," said Bhat.

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"It is clear that militant organisations like these are short of cash. We have also seen that they now carry more advanced technological gadgets. We are continuing with the investigation," he added.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Police have announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information on Hizbul Mujahideen militant Umer Majid, who is suspected of being involved in the Kulgam cash-van loot.