Calling off the operation – launched on Nov.13 following a tip-off – has raised many questions than answers over the fate of militants who the security forces believed were hiding in the jungles.
Indian army has called off one of the longest anti-terror operations in the high-altitude Manigah forests in the border district of Kupwara. In a month-long operation, security forces killed one militant of the group responsible for the killing of Colonel Santosh Mahadik, the commanding officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles who was leading the operation against the militants in the forests on November 17. Another militant of the group was found dead in the jungle probably due to the cold weather. Calling off the operation – launched on Nov.13 following a tip-off – has raised many questions than answers over the fate of militants who the security forces believed were hiding in the jungles.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “Let army explain what they achieved. Public and even soldiers were subjected to lot of inconvenience. Other than satisfying their egos did it serve any purpose,” asked Langate MLA and president of Awami Itihaad Party, Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid. While senior superintendent of police, Kupwara, Ajaz Ahmad said the operation has been called off and siege lifted completely, Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar, said “it has been scaled down, but cordon and search will continue.” Admitting that habitat area was affected, Joshi said “the people can now move freely”. Ajaz Ahmad said two militants have been killed in the operation. Surrounded by mountains and dense forests, Manigah is a bowl with huge rocks and thick foliage, which helped the militants though the forces had choppers and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its advantage.
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