March 2017 News

Kashmir Anti-militancy Ops Called Off After Protests

7 March 2017
The Hindu
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: Growing public interference in anti-militancy operations forced the security forces to call off two anti-militancy operations in south Kashmir in the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commended the people for their 'new mode of resistance'. A search-and-cordon team of the Army and the police came under heavy stone throwing in Kulgam's Mohamadpora village on Tuesday, thus delaying the operation. Police sources said the residents started throwing stones as the security forces were throwing a cordon after a tip-off about militants' presence. 'Heavy teargas shelling was used to disperse protesters from the site,' said a senior police official. Several local people, including a woman, were injured in the process. In a separate incident in restive Pulwama, an operation against militants was called off in the Newa area after people took to the streets and threw stones during the counter-insurgency operation. The Army's 55 Rashtriya Rifles, the police's Special Operation Group (SOG) and the CRPF's 183 Battalion cordoned off the area around 10 p.m. on Monday. A tip-off suggested movement of LeT militants in the area. Police sources said the operation was called off at night when mosques in the area started blaring pro-freedom songs and residents from many adjacent villages marched towards the operation site. Mehmood Shah, an LeT spokesman, praised people for 'ensuring the safety of the militants'. 'We won't let the people-militant bond to break. Till people are in the field, militants will continue to outsmart Indian troopers,' said the LeT spokesman. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said 'at least a dozen youth who had picked up guns were brought back to their homes in the past two or three months'.