P S Bali
Jammu Tawi, September 17
Security forces today carried out a search operation in the border belt of Samba district, following the reports of suspicious movement of militant in the area, leading to closure of some schools. According to senior police officer, wishing not to be named, the security forces had conducted search operations after inputs regarding movement of two to three armed persons in army fatigue were reported.
“There were reports of some suspected movement of armed persons, believed to be militants, along the border belt of the area, following which search operations were conducted by security forces,” he said and added that as precautionary measures the schools in the area were closed.
He further maintained that the searches were conducted for several hours, but nothing substantial was recovered or identified in the area.
Meanwhile, terming it a personal exercise of the army, SP Samba-Joginder Singh said that the police have not information about the exercise.
“Any major search operation is not in our knowledge. May be army would have conducted it at their own level. They might have received any input in this regard,” said Singh, adding that being close to borders, such exercise is evident.
“We regularly conduct Nakas and search operations along the border line to ascertain safety of the people. This time Army might have received any input, therefore carrying out search operations in the area cannot be overruled,” he said.
When asked about the closure of schools, he said that the Army had closed some schools, which are under their jurisdiction; otherwise there was normal functioning of the schools across the district.
“As precautionary measures, Kendriya Vidyalayas and Army schools in the area were closed by the army,” he said.
Talking to Newspoint, Deputy Commissioner Samba-Sheetal Nanda said that any such operation was not in her knowledge.
“I am not informed about any such incident. The rumours about suspicious movements always make rounds because of being border belt,” she said and added that closure of schools was not under their jurisdiction.
“The schools which were closed today are not under the jurisdiction of district administration. The Army controls them and their functioning is maintained by the army itself,” she said and added such search operations are routine in the area.
Earlier, defence officials had claimed that there were reports of some suspected movement following which search operations were conducted in border belts of Samba.
However, Defence spokesperson, Col S N Acharya said that the operations were carried out as a part of routine exercise. “We had received reports about movement of suspected persons in the area, therefore searches were conducted. On receiving any security threat, we alert school authorities first. therefore as a precautionary measure, schools were closed,” he said and added they cannot afford ignoring any input.