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Kupwara Operation | The Biggest Operation of 2018,Involved 1000 Soldiers

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The more than 30-hour-long operation in Chek Fatehkhan forest area of Kupwara district, in which five militants, three soldiers and two policemen were Martyred, was the biggest so far this year.

At least 1000 soldiers, policemen and paramilitary troopers were involved in the operation against five Lashkar-e-Toiba militants who are believed to have entered Kashmir from Pakistan administered Kashmir a few days ago.

A police source said there were two companies of army, each comprising 100 soldiers. But after accounting for the men who would be on leave, there were about 180 soldiers.

“About 50 para commandos who were rushed to the encounter site in helicopters and vehicles also took part in the operation after the forces suffered causalities,” he said.

Besides, the source said, army’s 41 RR, 160 Territorial Army, para commandos, police, 98 battalion of CRPF and 162 battalion of CRPF also participated.

He said 200 SOG personnel and other policemen took part in the operation. More than 200 policemen provided cover in outer and middle layers of the operation.

“Besides, there were about 200 CRPF personnel many of whom were part of the operation,” the source said.

A source in the army revealed that helicopters were pressed into service to ferry injured soldiers, policemen and to air-drop para commandos.

A top police official said it was a difficult operation and caution was exercised to avoid casualties to forces because militants had the advantage of hiding and making their moves in thick forest cover.

Director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid said the encounter is over. He said no militant has escaped from the site. The DGP also visited the house of a slain cop, Muhammad Yousuf Cheche at Kachama, Kupwara.

Police said the material recovered from the slain militants suggests they belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit.

“It was a difficult operation given the thick forest cover and vegetation. We completed the operation with utmost care,” Kashmir range inspector general of police Swayam Prakash Pani told reporters on the sidelines of a function where wreath was laid on the coffin carrying body of another policeman, Deepak Thusso, killed in the operation. He said the search operation is still on in the area.

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