J&K: Army, police relaunch major search operation in Baramulla

“Joint teams of army and police were conducting combing operations at several places in Baramulla in view of inputs about movement of militants there during the intervening night.”
Kashmir Curfew

Not even a week has passed since the raids in Baramulla district of  the valley which had led to the arrest of 44 people, security forces today again intensified search operations in Old Town area of Baramulla.

Indian Express reported that an official has informed that “Joint teams of army and police were conducting search operations at several places in Baramulla in view of inputs about movement of militants there during the intervening night.”

Although he has added that security forces have got no break through, Greater Kashmir reported citing its police officers that three youths  allegedly involved in stone-pelting have been arrested in the ongoing operation.

Kashmir Life cited its local sources who claimed that as people woke up this early morning in Old Town, heavy contingents of Rashtriya Rifles, police and CRPF had already cordoned off the area. A resident said that this operation seemed similar to that of October 17.

The sources informed that “search operation is being carried out in Suhail Colony, Eidgah Qadeem and Drangbal.” Locals stuck at homes opined that “the dark days of 1990s are back,” report added. Greater Kashmir claimed that forces have cordoned off Al Mustafa colony and Faqirwani area of the town as well.

“Over 700 houses were searched in a span of 12 hours on October 17 in an extensive search operation in old town in Baramulla, during which 44 persons involved with terror-related activities have been apprehended,” an army spokesman had informed the media.

In October 17 raid, security forces had recovered Chinese flags along with other incriminating material like petrol bombs, Pakistani flags, Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) letter head pads, unauthorized mobile phones and seditious anti-national publicity material, media had reported.

In a stringent move, the Jammu and Kashmir government had then fired over a dozen of employees for alleged anti-national activities, charging them under Public Safety Act (PSA).

The unrest in valley reached 105th day on Friday, with over 90 people killed so far in the clashes and the death toll and number of injured still on the increase. According to the news reports, around 5,000 to 9,000 people have been arrested or detained  after pro-freedom protests erupted across the valley.

However, Hindustan Times reported, citing the daily press releases issued by the police in Srinagar, that 1,700 people were arrested between September 16 and October 19 “to curb the activities of trouble makers involved in various crimes of disrupting the public order.”

The report added that the human rights organizations revealed that over 450 among the arrested have been booked under the PSA and sent to jails without trials. PSA authorizes officials to send a person to jail for 6–24 months without a court hearing.