10 days on, possible militant presence in Gbl woods keep forces on toes

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We are searching forest area of 22 kms to ensure no militant is present in area, says ADGP Munir Khan, Elite Para Commandos  deployed, CoB remains intact, army official

Ganderbal, Oct 07 (KNO): Even after ten days, the Ganderbal gun fight that raged on September 28 in the dense forest range of Naranag in Gangbal area of the Central district of Kashmir continues to keep the security forces—army and J&K police engaged as there is a possibility of presence of one or two militants still in the area. Top officials told wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that an area that is spread over at least 22 kilomteres in the dense woods of Ganderbal continues under siege as army keeps its Company operation Base (CoB) intact.

Talking to KNO, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order, security, Munir Khan said that the operation was on in Naranag area for the tenth consecutive day as they have started searching 22 kms forest area where there is possibility of presence of militants, who seem to have infiltrated into this side from Gurez-Bandipora ridge, a traditional infiltration route. “So the operation in the area is on to ensure entire area is sanitized,” he said. 

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Reliable sources said that Elite Paratroopers were airdropped in the forest range of Gangabal in the Naranagregion  to combat the militants. Two militants have so far been killed, but their identities have not been confirmed by the authorities yet.

As per sources the ridges in the Ganderbal district of north Kashmir have been tense since 27 September, the day the Army received inputs that a group of militants had managed to enter the Valley through the Gurez region. The infiltration, security forces officers said, might have happened through the Tulail Valley, which is a four-day hike northwards from Gangabal.

“The gun battle started that very day, prompting heavy and immediate deployment of armed forces in the ridges,” the source said.Locals of Ganderbal told KNO that choppers made several trips  to drop the troopers. “Two paratroopers who were posted in the area confirmed that the airdrops took place to counter the militants,” said a local.

Army and police officials said two of the militants had been killed — the first on 27 September, and the second two days later. Bodies of the militants were recovered on 30 September. On 30 September, three days after the first contact was established with the militants, local residents from Naranag were allegedly hired by the Army to carry the bodies of the slain militants that were lying near the river that passes via Churnar Valley. “The locals were then asked to dig graves for the two militants and perform the last rites, not far from the jungle where the encounter took place,” the sources said.

A senior police official told KNO that Company Operation Base of army was going to stay intact for sometime.“Once the security forces would be fully satisfied with the operation, it won’t be called off,” he said, wishing not to be named.(KNO).

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