After two militant attacks in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, last week, government forces on Monday conducted ‘surprise cordon and search operation in the main commercial hub’ of the city
A cordon and search was also conducted in Baghaat, were two policemen were gunned down last week.
Reports said forces conducted a “massive” search operation in Amira Kadal, this afternoon.
The armed forces sealed the entire area, adjacent to city centre, Lal Chowk, ordering those present on the Amira Kadal bridge and adjacent market to get in queues. “No one was allowed to move without the directions of the forces,” a witness said, wishing anonymity.
Reports said the cordon and search operation – a reminder of military operations in early 1990s, known locally as crackdown, was carried out by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Special Operation Group and the Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force.
“The identification cards of those present in Amira Kadal were checked and we were frisked,” another witness who was present in the busy market, which sees thousands of people decending daily from different parts of Valley, said.
A video posted on micro-blogging website twitter showed people standing in a long queue, moving towards the armed forces’ men, who are checking their identification cards and frisking them.
Owing to the growing number of militant attacks in Srinagar, the government forces in the disputed region have come up with a new counter strategy, which includes the use of drones and “surprise-limited cordon and search operations”.
Top officials of the military grid which met in Srinagar on Saturday, last week, framed a fresh strategy to and issued some fresh advisories to the armed forces on the ground.
The city, last week saw, two militant attacks in three days, in which two policemen were shot dead from a point blank rage on the high security airport road. On Friday last week, a regular morning cup of tea proved fatal for two policemen who were gunned down in broad daylight in an upmarket Srinagar area, an incident witnessed by several people and captured on CCTV cameras.
A witness from Baghaat said a crackdown was also carried out in the area early on Monday.
A police spokesperson had said that while interacting with the officers, the IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar urged them that “it is of crucial importance to enhance security surveillance of all vital establishments & locations”.
“He also highlighted the importance of round the clock checkpoints at strategic locations, surprise checkpoints, surprise-limited cordon and search operations in crowded places, placing cut-off points on exit routes immediately after attacks, use of drones and dominating from high reaches,” the police spokesman had said.
Kumar had also directed snipers to be placed on high-rise buildings and relocating permanent bunkers.
On Wednesday, last week militants shot at and injured the son of a popular eatery owner in the city’s high security Durganag area at a time when a 24-member delegation of envoys from various countries visited the region to assess the ground situation. The envoys were staying at a hotel barely 200 metres from the spot of the attack.