Srinagar: Government forces carried out massive cordon and search operation (CASO) in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, reports said Saturday.
Contingents of army, special operations group (SOG) of police and CRPF drove in armored vehicles to main town Anantnag around 11:30pm on Friday and laid a siege around several localities in Lal Chowk, witnesses told Kashmir Observer.
The joint team, they said instantly started a door-to-door search operation in Mehmaan Mohalla, Kotwal Gali and Dangerpora after asking the locals to assemble around Lal Chowk.
“The inmates were taken out and asked to assemble at Lal Chowk. They spent entire night under open sky,” an eyewitness said.
He said that due to the overnight search operation, many residents could not go home to have Suhoor.
According to the witnesses, women and children were also taken out during the search operation that concluded after nearly 18 hours.
Earlier reports said that the government forces launched search operation amid reports that two top Hizb militants Tariq Dar and Molvi Ashraf were hiding. 55-year-old Ashraf was recently appointed operational chief of Hizbul Mujahideen.
On July 25, 2018, gunfire resonated in Anantnag’s Lal Chowk after 14 years when two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants engaged government forces in a six-hour-long gunfight. Bilal Dar of Khodwani in Kulgam and Abid Hussain Bhat of Doda were slain in the encounter that erupted in congested Mehmaan Mohalla in the wee hours.
Meanwhile, a search operation was also carried out by government forces in Lassipora area of the neighbouring Pulwama district during Friday night, reports said.
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