Indian army troopers walk back to their base camp after a search operation at a village in Shopian, about 47 km south of Srinagar, summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, May 4, 2017. Indian troops on Thursday launched a massive search operation in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir to trace militants, officials said. The search operation has been carried out across two dozen villages in Shopian district. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)
NEW DELHI, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Indian troops on Thursday a launched massive search operation in restive Indian-controlled Kashmir to trace militants, officials said.
The search operation has been carried out across two dozen villages in Shopian district, about 47 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"Today a massive anti-militancy operation is underway in several villages of Shopian," a police official said. "The villages have been cordoned and intense searches are going on in the orchards and houses to find out militants hiding there."
The operation is being carried out in wake of deadly attack on policemen, incidents of weapon snatching and series of bank robberies.
Clashes broke out in couple of villages to resist the operation, with locals throwing stones and brickbats on government forces. Police fired tear smoke shells and used pellet guns to quell the protests. Four people were reported injured in the clashes.
The operation is being carried out jointly by Indian army, paramilitary and police personnel in the villages.
Last week, videos released on the social networking sites showed groups of militants wearing combat fatigues marching inside orchards. Authorities suspect the video was shot in Shopian.
Locals said military helicopters were seen hovering in the sky in the villages under cordon to comb the orchards.
On Tuesday night suspected militants stormed a police post guarding court complex in Shopian district and snatched five service rifles belonging to policemen deployed there.
Prior to that, militants killed five policemen and two security guards of bank after attacking a cash carrying vehicle belonging to Jammu and Kashmir Bank in adjacent Kulgam district.
A separatist movement and guerrilla war challenging New Delhi's rule is going on in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989.
Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.