Militants escape as army units fight over jurisdiction
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Srinagar, Nov 4: A dispute over jurisdiction between two units of army apparently helped militants sneak out from Lolab area, where they were reported to be present, to other parts of the Kashmir valley.
According to a report of the State Home Department, Jammu and Kashmir Police developed an intelligence input about presence of nearly two-dozen militants in the Doruswani forests of Lolab valley in North Kashmir.
Immediately, the army authorities in the area were approached for launching a quiet and swift operation with the help of paratroopers, who are trained for such tactical warfare.
Since the area which has a presence of Rashtriya Rifles, a counter-insurgency force carved by the army, a request for ensuring jurisdiction for paratroopers and state police’s Special Operation Group was made.
Repeated requests for an early solution to jurisdiction issue between two units of army did not bear any results despite warnings from intelligence agencies that militants were planning to shift their bases from Doruswani forests to other areas of the valley including Bandipore, Sopur in North Kashmir, Shopian, Kulgam and Tral in South Kashmir besides Ganderbal area in outskirts of Srinagar.
After lot of discussion within the army, a team comprising army and police finally reached the area along with the informant.
Despite the need for the operation to be quiet and swift, the army personnel from Rashtriya Rifles, who joined the paratroopers and police, started firing warning shots even before entering the Doruswani jungles.
Notwithstanding the objection by the police and intelligence agencies, the Rashtriya Rifles did not stop firing. This might have served as a possible warning to the militants to move away from the area quickly, the Home officials said.
The team could only find ration including oil, rice and wheat to the tune of Rs 1 lakh from three hideouts but could not even catch a single militant or recover any arms and ammunition, the officials said.
They alleged that the security personnel in this area have been following a policy of live and let live and generally no major encounters take place in this region, which falls as a transit point for militants to spread to various parts of the valley.
Some of the wireless intercepts now suggested that the holed up militants had reached as far as Sopur in North Kashmir and Pattan, 27 kilometres from the Srinagar city, they added.
Army authorities were not available for comment.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 4 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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