SRINAGAR: Following the suspected escape of a group of militants from the Basantgarh area of Udhampur district, after the recent killing of a Village Defence Guard (VDG) member, the Army, and police have initiated an extensive search operation in the remote regions of Bhaderwah and Marmat in Doda district. This operation was prompted by reports indicating the presence of a few suspects in the vicinity.

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Security forces are on high alert in these areas.

A group of militants fled after killing a VDG member in Panara village of Basantgarh on April 28. A massive manhunt was launched by security forces in Basantgarh but there was no trace of terrorists.

Now, the search operation is ongoing in the upper reaches of Bhaderwah and Marmat in Doda district.

Replying to a query about the search operation, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Doda, Javed Iqbal, said, “Yes, the search operation is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, sources told news agency KNO that there were reports of the presence of militants in the forest areas after which the search operation was launched.

“A group of two to three suspects were seen in the Mathola area in the upper reaches of Bhaderwah on May 2, after which the search operation was launched, but so far nothing has been found. Security forces are still on high alert and are not letting any chance for terrorists to enter the district,” a source said.

Upper areas of Marmat and Bhaderwah are accessible from Basantgarh, and terrorists in the past have used this route to commute between Marmat and the upper reaches of Udhampur district. There are natural hideouts due to the dense forest, and due to the absence of any road connectivity, commuting becomes difficult—(KNO)


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