Massive Searches Launched In Kupwara Forests

27 July 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Army has launched massive search operations in North Kashmir forests along the Line of Control (LoC) following reports that a couple of militant groups have managed to infiltrate into these forests from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) during this month. The operations have been launched in upper reaches of Rafiabad forests of district Baramulla, Zaloora forests and Rajawar forests of Kupwara district. Reports said that 32 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), 21-RR, 31-RR, 18-RR and 28-RR of Army and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Handwara and Kupwara are fanning out these forests after they received inputs about the movement of the militants in these forest areas. These forest areas are adjacent to the LoC and the militants mostly take refuge in these forests once they infiltrate and before shifting towards the Valley. Reports said that the Army has inputs that two militant groups have managed to infiltrate this month from Nowgam and Macchil sectors and these militants are now making movement in these forests along with those who are already present there. Army this month successfully foiled three infiltration attempts of militants in North Kashmir but reports said that two groups have managed to infiltrate. A senior Army officer told Excelsior that they have apprehensions about one group having infiltrated this month. 'We are verifying it and so that we have no human intelligence report about the group', he added. On July 18, a group of 7-8 militants tried to sneak in Baktoor area of Gurez in Bandipora district and prior to this in Macchil sector of Kupwara another group of around 7-8 militants had crossed the LoC fence and the group was intercepted and they fled back. On July 12, for the first time this year, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Kashmir valley to push in militants through Nowgam sector of Kupwara district. The Army has intensified its vigil along the LoC following inputs that the militants are desperate to infiltrate in large numbers this year. Army sources said that around 400 militants are waiting on launch pads along the 740 kilometer LoC. In the meantime, security forces today busted a hideout in North Kashmir's Baramulla forests and recovered arms, ammunition and war like stores. A senior Army officer said that the 46 Rashtriya Rifles of Army along with Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from a militant hideout in Baramulla district. The officer said that they received specific information about the movement of the militants in the forest area of Hajibal near Baramulla town. The officer said that the troops during the searches busted a militant hideout from which arms and ammunition and war like stores were recovered. The recoveries are one AK 47, two magazines, two pistols, 2 pistol magazines, 225 rounds of AK ammunition, 3 hand grenades, three UBGL grenades, 19 RPG, 13 detonators, one radio set, one I Com, two binoculars, 13 ammunition rounds of Heavy Machine Gun, Radio set with secrecy device and 5 kilogrammes of IED.