Indian police launch ‘massive search operation’ in Poonch


A day after five Indian army soldiers were gunned down by an unknown shooter in occupied Kashmir, law enforcement personnel have initiated a “massive search operation” in the Poonch district of the held territory to apprehend the perpetrators, according to Indian media reports.

Unidenti­fied men on Thursday opened fire at an Indian army vehicle in held Kashmir, killing at least five soldiers, the army had said.

Grenades were also likely thrown at the vehicle in the Rajouri sector of the region, causing it to catch fire.

NDTV, in its report, quoted official sources as saying that the National Investigation Agency had been called to assist the police in the search operation to locate and arrest the attackers.

It said a “massive search and cordon operation” had been initiated to nab the attackers.

“A team of forensic experts is also at the site near the Bhimber Gali area of Poonch,” the report added.

On April 12, the Indian army was also targeted when two masked men shot four soldiers in their sleep at the Bathinda military station in Punjab, a northern state where tensions have been high due to the resurgence of a separatist movement.

Four days later, the Indian police claimed to have arrested a soldier involved in the killing of four personnel.

In August last year, militants attacked an Indian army post in Rajouri, killing three soldiers, while two attackers died in the shootout.

New Delhi has long accused Pakistan of stoking a decades-long ‘insurgency’ in occupied Kashmir. Islamabad denies that accusation, saying it only provides diplomatic and moral support for Kashmiris seeking self-determination.—Agencies