17 Rashtriya Rifles in a joint operation with Jammu and Kashmir Police busted a cave hideout of Hizbul-Mujahideen in Chicha forest belt of Kishtwar. The security forces launched an operation based on a tip-off in the Chicha forest belt and busted a cave hideout used by Pakistani terrorists operating in the area.
Reportedly, security forces recovered a large number of arms and ammunition that included one AK 56 rifle, one magazine with 27 rounds, one under-barrel grenade launcher(UBGL), one 9 mm pistol and one pistol magazine with six rounds. The security forces have averted the militants’ plan to carry out attacks in that particular area.
Cave hideout set up in a similar pattern to Al-Qaeda
The hideout is claimed to be set up in a fashion similar to the one used by the Al-Qaeda terrorists in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan. The opening of the cave was too small for anyone to suspect the presence of a terrorist hideout. But when the security personnel crawled into the cave, they found that there is enough space to shelter four-five terrorists at a time.
The hideout worked as a safe shelter for the militants and safekeeping of Arms and ammunition too. Jahangir Saroori, one of the longest surviving militants and a top Hizbul commander was known for using the networks of cave hideouts in Kishtwar heights to hide from the security personnel. These caves came to his rescue whenever he was about to come into clutches of the security forces.
Use of caves means terrorists no longer have civilian support
The use of caves by terrorists to hide from security forces show that they are no longer able to find shelter in villages, as civilians have stopped supporting them. One officer said, “In an indication of further shrinkage of the militants’ support base in the valley, more and more cases of outlaws using cave-like hideouts away from the human habitations are surfacing.”
The locals in the area have been emerging as effective informers of the security forces after facing the atrocities by the militants. That is a major reason that despite especially designed hideouts security forces have been successfully eliminating top commanders of terror. Although military officers clarified that practically it is not exactly possible for them to search each and every cave-like cavity in the area.