Shopian residents, sources said, were shocked to see well-armed terrorists hiding in forests in the area. They said some terrorists who escaped during the Poonch gun battle have even taken refuge in various villages in Shopian district.
However, top Army officers said they were confident about tackling the Poonch infiltrators using a new method. According to locals, the Army is allotting new house numbers to individual hearths and recording the names and other details of those who dwell there, including the mobile phone numbers of all family members.
“It makes it easy to check the backgrounds of residents and also learn the details of any visitor to the district. The allotment of house numbers to all village houses means we have to contact our informers less frequently as contacting them risks exposing them,” a senior military officer deputed to the district said. “We get to know about the arrival of any guest at any house in the district with the new mechanism,” he said.
We appreciate the method as it also save us from daily frisking on the roads. They simply feed our house number into their mobiles and get our details,” he said.
According to intelligence sources, the terrorists have been instructed not to use mobile phones in south Kashmir, particularly not in Shopian district, and have been told to lay low till further instructions from their handlers across the border.
DGP Dilbag Singh, meanwhile, reviewed the security scenario in south Kashmir and called for augmenting security in vulnerable places. He said operations should be stepped up to check the movement of “criminals, militants and other suspicious elements”.
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