Jammu: At least three militants including ‘district commander’ of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), fled from the cordon after stone pelting by locals on Security Forces (SFs) during the operation in Kulgam District on February 22, reports Daily Excelsior. Massive stone-pelting clashes erupted in two villages of the District as SFs launched search and cordon operations against a group of militants including HM ‘commander’, Altaf Ahmad Kachru.
Sources said that Army’s 1-RR, Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cordoned off Tarigam village of Kulgam District after receiving an input about the presence of three militants. Sources said that as the searches were started, the locals including women came out of their houses and held protests. The locals pelted stones on SFs involved in operations and tried to break the cordon to give safe passage to militants who were believed to be trapped inside.
Police fired teargas and fired gun shots in air to disperse the protesters. Clashes between the two sides continued for several hours and few persons were reported to be injured. Following the clashes, the cordon and search operation in the Tarigam village was called off and sources said that militants managed to flee from the cordon.
Clashes also erupted at Qoimoh area of the District after SFs launched a cordon and search operation following information that the militants who fled Tarigam have taken shelter in nearby Makhdoom Mohalla locality of Qoimoh. SFs called off the operation at Qoimoh following clashes. Minor stone-pelting clashes were also reported from Kakpora area of Pulwama District. However, the situation there was brought under control by Police.