The Kulgam encounter in south Kashmir between militants and security forces was called off on Friday but the search operation for two militants is underway. The security forces had launched a cordon-and-search operation in Khudwani area of Kulgam district on Thursday after the Army received information about the presence of three to four militants in the area.
The militants then attacked the army patrol in which one civilan has been killed and three personnel have been injured. A massive search operation had been launched by the security forces in which 4,000 troops were involved to clear South Kashmir of terrorists.
Security forces which included the army, police and CRPF personnel conducted door-to-door searches, a practice stopped in the late 1990s. Over a dozen villages in Shopian district were searched for ‘Operation Clean Up’. Helicopters and drones also scanned the area.
The troops had asked the villagers to come out and gather in a common area so that the search operation could be easily carried out. “We do not wish to have any civilian casualty and the measure was therefore required,” a senior army official was quoted as saying.
The search operation has been the biggest in more than a decade in the troubled Kashmir Valley.