Kokernag anti-terror operation enters sixth day
Srinagar, Sep 18 (PTI) The operation to flush out terrorists holed up in the Gadole forest area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district entered the sixth day on Monday with security forces using drones to pinpoint the hideouts for carrying out attacks on the militants.
The Union Territory’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has vowed to avenge the death of the three officers in the encounter.
According to officials here, drone footage showed a charred body lying near one of the hideouts destroyed during the anti-terror operation over the past five days. Any further information about it can be made available only after security forces sanitise the area, they said.
Security forces are using drones and helicopters for surveillance of the dense forest area with several cave-like hideouts where terrorists are believed to be holed up since Wednesday after killing two Army officers and a deputy superintendent of police in the initial exchange of fire, the officials said.
The security cordon has been extended to the neighbouring Posh Kreeri area on Sunday as a precautionary measure to ensure that terrorists don’t slip into civilian areas, they said.
Addressing a function here late on Sunday evening, the Lieutenant Governor said every drop of the martyrs’ blood will be avenged and the terrorist handlers will have to pay a heavy price. “We have complete faith in our soldiers… The entire nation stands in solidarity with the jawans,” Sinha said.
He claimed that the attack on security forces in Anantnag was a result of the frustration among the terrorist ranks due to the successful conduct of the G20 Summit and the crackdown on conflict profiteers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sinha said the time had come to end terrorism and the ecosystem that has suppressed the common man in Jammu and Kashmir.
Top officials of the security grid in Kashmir, including the director general of police GP and General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Army’s 15 Corps, have been monitoring the operation. The Northern Army commander visited the site of the gunfight on Saturday to take stock of the operational situation.
The police believe two to three terrorists are trapped in the forest area.
Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar late Friday night said the operation was launched based on specific input and claimed “two to three trapped terrorists will be neutralised.”
Colonel Manpreet Singh, Commanding Officer, 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonchak, Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat and a soldier were killed by the terrorists on Wednesday.