Operation Chhamar ends, 13 militants killed
The army on Friday said eight-day long Operation Chhamar Sar has concluded though they are yet to retrieve corpses of two of the 13 slain militants buried under the debris of a blasted cave.
���It was a fight from boulder to boulder,��� Maj Gen VSS Goudhar, who heads counter-insurgent Kilo Force said. ���Initially, it was the problem of locating them (militants) and when this job was over, it was to take away the advantage from them.��� ���All the militants were in a safe cave and all our soldiers were out in open under sky,��� he said.
Using multiple downloads from the Google earth, a facility that army has been opposing for a long time on security ground, the General explained the difficulty in accessing the ridge that is much above the snow line base and lacks any spot to hide other than the rocks and boulders. ���It was merely the resilience of troops who delivered in the most trying spot,��� he said.
After getting hard intelligence about militant presence in the indomitable Harmukh range, General Goudhar said they mobilised troops from both eastern and western side but could not wait for soldiers to trek the huge distances. ���I personally flew to the area but we were not sure where they were hiding,��� he said. ���Finally, we decided to fly troops.���
Any chopper flying to this high altitude takes only three soldiers at a time and there is no possibility of flying in the afternoon. Troop movement started on September 24 evening and flying troops started a day later, but the first contact was actually managed a day later when a soldier and three militants were mowed down.
���The cave in which they were hiding was a very tough. It was straight in the beginning and then it had a different direction,��� said the general. ���Initially, all kinds of weapons failed, but finally it crumbled and we are still looking for two of the thirteen bodies.��� He, however, insisted they did not use heavy weapons.
The militants had not come from LoC. General said the group of militants had started from Bandipore and were either on way to Kangan valley or south Kashmir. The track, General said, is known to only Bakerwals who migrate from one place to another during summers.
���We are not sure who informed the militants about this high-altitude pass, he said.��� The general said they would take some more time to ascertain the identity and the nationality of the slain militants.