Militants Elude Army 16th Day in kupwara forests

KUPWARA: Army and police on Saturday carried out searches in several villages of Manigah in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district even as militants continue to remain elusive. 

The fresh searches come a day after brief exchange of gunfire at Peer Mohalla in Manigah on Friday.  

Official sources said that police and army’s 41 RR, commandos from 4 PARA and 9 PARA conducted searches at Peer Mohalla, Haji Naka, Kashmiri Manigah, Sonwali, Manigah, Safawali, Payerpati and adjoining villages to find out the militants which they suspect are hiding in the vast area.

“Since November 13, the militants managed to give slip to troops several times at multiple places in Manigah”, they said.

Meanwhile, taking to reports here, General officer Commander of Army’s 15 Corps Lt General Satish Dua said there were couple of operations underway in Kupwara and Bandipora districts where eight to ten militants were holed up.

“In the operations at Manigah in Kupwara and another in Bandipore, the operations are going on and the infiltrating (militants) are not allowed to get to the hinterland. Eight to ten militants in these two groups have been blocked,” he said.

Asked if drones were used against the militants, Lt Gen Dua said only unarmed aerial surveillance vehicles were pressed into service.

“Drones are used where weapons are involved. What we have is unarmed vehicles in the Army and they are only providing a surveillance feed. So in any area that is a suspect, UAV’s are used. They are being used in the ongoing operations as well, whenever weather permits,” Dua added.

Yesterday, a joint team of forces had established contact again at Peer Mohalla in Haji Naka. However, after conducting the day long searches, the forces did not found any body.

Sources, meanwhile said two militants who managed to give slip to the joint team of forces at Peer Mohalla yesterday were part of the group infiltrated inside this part of Kashmir on Oct 30/31.

“The group has already lost two of its members one died due to severe cold while another one killed in an encounter”.

Before being intercepted, the group was trapped in the mountainous terrain due to heavy rains and snowfall, they said.

Pertinently, the said militant group had managed to escape on a number of occasions since November 13 in Manigah sector.

On Nov 17, militants also killed an army colonel of 41 RR in forest area of Behak near Sonwali in Manigah. 

On Nov 23, an unidentified militant was killed in an encounter at Manigah.

On Nov 10, the army’s 41 RR had recovered the body of a militant in Kumkadi forests of Manigah who is believed to have died due to severe cold. (GNS)


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