Shopian siege: Clashes erupt, helicopters pressed in, operation continues


Civilians protesters resorted to massive stone pelting as forces and paramilitary troops on Thursday launched a massive search operation in multiple villages in southern part of Kashmir’s Shopian district. Nearly 20 villages have been cordoned off as massive manhunt is underway.

The operations have been launched in six villages falling under Zainapora area in Shopian after forces received information about movement of militants there, a police official said.

A large number of forces including Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Jammu and Kashmir Police and its Special Operations Group (SOG) are involved in the search operations which began in the middle of the night but were hampered by civilian groups pelting stones at them, official said.

Additional forces personnel have been rushed to the area to chase away the stone-pelting civilians. No casualties have been reported in the clashes between civilian protesters and forces, he said adding that the operations were in progress.

Meanwhile, helicopters have also been pressed into service for conducting the search operations.

Pertinently, on Tuesday night, gunmen snatched five rifles from police guards posted at the Shopian district court complex in Shopian. The gunmen attacked the guard room of the court complex around 9 PM and snatched five self-loading rifles (SLRs) including four INSAS rifles and an AK-47 rifle.

All the five policemen were suspended for the alleged dereliction of duty as they offered no resistance when the militants looted their weapons, they said.

The incident took place a day after militants killed seven persons, including five policemen, who were accompanying a district treasury van in adjoining Kulgam district.

Police believe that the same group of militants were involved in both the incidents.


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