At least 1000 Indian Army personnel along with the J&K police launched a massive combing operation in some parts of the Shopian district in Jammu and Kashmir today.
The operation was centered on two of Shopian’s villages – Heff and Shirmal. Both villages were cordoned off as the forces searched every home.
According to reports, the search operation started at around midnight of Wednesday. The operation was launched following intelligence inputs of presence of terrorists in the villages.
But the search operation was hampered by the locals who resorted to stone pelting and ‘azaadi’ sloganeering.
Residents disrupt another major army operation with stones/slogans in Heff Shirmal, (Wachi) Shopian. Troops forced to retreat empty handed.
— Ahmed Ali Fayyaz (@ahmedalifayyaz) May 17, 2017
Following the disruption caused by the locals, the cordon was lifted. Clashes between the locals and security forces did not result in any injuries.
This is the second major operation to flush terrorists out in Shopian. Though the previous operation, conducted on May 4 on a much larger scale, did not yield anything, a returning convoy was attacked by terrorists which left many security force personnel injured.
Stone pelting by the locals is one of the biggest hindrances to search operations. The reason why the Indian armed forces conduct such operations is because the terrorists find support and help from locals.
Shopian in south Kashmir has been in the news for terrorist incidents. Security forces believe that many terrorists, who have been seen in videos on social media, are hiding in Shopian.
The Army has intensified its operations in the district following the martyrdom of many of its soldiers including the recent one of Lt Ummer Fayaz.
The young Army officer from 2 Rajputana Rifles was abducted and killed by terrorists while he was on leave in his hometown in Kashmir.
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat had in February warned Kashmiri locals not to help the terrorists in any manner or else they, too, will be treated as terrorists.