Shopian, a Militant Slip, And Carry-over?

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Sheikh Hilal

SHOPIAN

Army during an encounter in South Kashmir. Pic: Bilal Bahadur

Army during an encounter in South Kashmir.
File Pic: Bilal Bahadur

The encounter that broke out between army and militants at Heff Shermal in Shopian district Tuesday evening saw militants giving slip to forces on Wednesday morning — and thus making it another instance this year where militants managed to give slip to forces.

Cops on grounds confirmed the Shopian encounter site fleeing and said the operation has been called off that left two army men injured.

But the Shopian incident isn’t alone where militants managed to give a slip to forces.

On February 16 this year, as army started searching the residential house near Achabal Check post, the militants without opening fire gave slip to forces and fled from the area.

In another incident that surfaced on April 02 this year, two militants after killing an army man and a policeman in an encounter in village Hardashoora of Tangmarg in Baramulla district gave slip to forces.

The encounter started when a joint team of Army’s 29 RR, 52 RR and J&K Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) at Hardshoora were combing in Kunzar area of Baramulla district. The attack was based on specific intelligence inputs.

On May 11, two CRPF men, including an officer, were killed when suspected militant attacked them in Sangam, Islamabad and fled the scene after the attack.

A senior cop posted in Shopian told Kashmir Life that police and army’s modus operandi has remained the same as earlier, “but then certain factors seem to aid militants to flee from the encounter site.”

He termed darkness, residential areas and timing as “cumbersome” factors for the combat operation. “In Shopian, yesterday, the encounter began during dark, which limited the scope of operation,” he said. “Besides being a residential area, the operation proved cumbersome for the security forces.”

But not everyone seems to buy this argument by the senior cop. “Encounters aren’t new to Kashmir,” said Shabir Ahmad, a local in Shopian. “They have taken place in dark, inside residential area and irrespective of time and space.”

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