The 5th edition of Joint Military Exercise ‘Dharma Guardian’ between the Indian Army and the Japan Ground Self Defence Force commenced on Sunday at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan.
Security forces on Monday launched a search operation in the forest areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.
According to officials, the massive search operations was started after some people reported suspicious movements in Nikka and Panjgrain areas along the LoC in Manjakote belt on Sunday.
Joint teams of police, Army and CRPF have cordoned off at least eight villages, they added.
Earlier, The death toll in Sunday’s late-night gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district has gone up to six after two more bodies were recovered on Monday, police said.
“Two more bodies were recovered in Shopian district this morning,” a police spokesperson said.
The body of one militant identified as Ashiq Hussain Bhat from the Lashkar-e-Tabia (LeT) terror outfit, was recovered today at Saidpora area. He was missing since November 13, 2017,” a police official said. Bhat was a resident of Rakh Karpan.
“Preliminary investigation has suggested that Bhat’s death was part of Sunday’s gunfight in Pahnoo village. Further investigation is on.”
On Sunday, one militant and three civilians — who the army claimed were overground workers (OGWs) of militants — were killed in the gunfight which took place after a mobile vehicle check post (MVCP) was fired at.
A police official said a joint MVCP (mobile vehicle check post) near Pohan in Shopian had signalled a car to stop, but it did not. The Army men were fired upon and they retaliated, in which a militant was killed.
Police rushed to the spot and identified one of the deceased as Amir Ahmed Malik, who had joined the LeT militant group in July last year.
The body of another civilian, Gowhar Ahmad Lone, 24, was also found on Monday morning, some 250 metres away from the gunfight site.
Meanwhile, authorities have imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar city to prevent protests called by the separatists against the gunfight.
Police personnel were deployed in large numbers to keep a strict watch in militant-infested Shopian area, besides other parts of the Kashmir Valley as separatist amalgam — Joint Resistance Front — has given a call for bandh today.
Schools and educational institutes, which were to open today after two-month-long winter break, were closed as a precautionary measure in the Valley.
(With input from agencies)