Troops launch massive operation in B’pora forests, 15 militants believed to be trapped

Two army men and a militant were reportedly injured in gunfight on Monday in upper reaches of Panar forests in north Kashmir Bandipora district after troops rushed commandos and para-troopers to track down a group of about 15 militants trapped there.
“Two army men and militant sustained injuries during the second day of army operation in Bandipora forest this morning,” sources said.
Troops had launched combing operation in Panar forest area four days back after intelligence inputs that a group of militants was hiding in the area.
“Most of the militants trapped during the operation managed to break the cordon while two militants have engaged forces from last two days,” sources said.
They said major part of the militant group managed to break the cordon and moved to other parts of the Bandipora forest area.
Earlier, on Saturday evening, army launched a search operation in Rainar area of Bandipora when a group of militants opened fire on a patrol of 14 Rashtriya Rifles.
“After exchange of fire, army launched massive operation in the forest area on Sunday morning to track down the group of militants believed to be 15 in number,” sources said.
Sources said a group of 15-18 militants had last week infiltrated successfully near Bagtore area of Gurez and reached Chandaji area on Friday where they stayed for a night and travelled to Panar through Bonkoot and on reaching Rainar they came in contact with the troopers, who laid an ambush to chase them.
Among the 15 trapped militants, it is believed that 13 have managed to break the cordon while two are engaging army during the operation.
The army has extended the operation to other parts of Bandipora forests to track down the militants, sources said.
They said army has extended operation to Bhutoo, Vewan,Sarinder, Kudara,Aragam and Ajas forest areas.
In Gurez, Bagtore is considered as an infiltration zone and most of the infiltration bids in Gurez were reported from the area.
The Neelum river separates Bagtore area from another side of Kashmir and militants, according to army sources, are using the river as a common route for infiltration.
Defence spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia told Rising Kashmir that operation is on.
“We are verifying the details,” he said.