It is the biggest operation undertaken in the troubled Kashmir valley, since 1990s, to flush out the terrorists. Named ‘Operation Clean Up’, the ongoing operation in Shopian district of South Kashmir involves door-to-door search of houses. Around 4,000 troops of Army, CRPF personnel and Jammu & Kashmir police are participating in this massive operation.
The massive operation was launched in the wake of an increase in terrorist activities in South Kashmir. The operation came days after terrorists had attacked a cash van of J&K Bank and shot dead five policemen and two bank guards in Kulgam district in south Kashmir.
On Thursday (4 May), after carrying out the search operation, security forces carried out a ‘reverse sweep’ of the entire region in order to ensure that none of the terrorists had slipped in.
In Delhi, Army chief General Bipin Rawat has indicated that security forces had beefed up the counter-infiltration postures in the valley.
No arrest, however, has been made during the search operation so far. Even as the search operation was the going on, the terrorists, on Thursday, attacked an Army patrol in Shopian leaving a civilian dead and two security personnel injured. Incidents of stone-pelting have been reported in Turkawangan village.
Meanwhile, J&K Police has recovered a diary and a mobile phone belonging to terrorists who attacked soldiers, returning from the combing operation, on Thursday. The diary and the mobile phone yielded reference to three local terrorists and a number of over-ground workers who had helped the terrorists in reaching the spot and carry out the attack, Shopian SP Tahir Khan was quoted as saying.
Stone-pelting on security forces near the encounter sites in Kashmir has been causing major operational problems. Ever since the recent bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, a fresh spurt violence broke out in the valley. There is a palpable tension in the valley with the separatist forces call for a 2016-like protests. This is not to dispute that the stone pelters are deputed by the separatists, who work in tandem with the terrorists.
In response to the violent protests in the Kashmir valley, the government blocked the mobile web access. The move came following reports that as many as 300 WhatsApp groups were being used to mobilise stone-pelter mobs against security forces in Kashmir.
A report states that Pakistani and Saudi channels are beaming into Kashmiri homes, via private cable networks, stroking fires in the valley. The channel includes Peace TV of Islamist Zakir Naik, and many other Pakistani and Saudi channels preaching radical Islam.