STATE TIMES NEWS KISHTWAR: Day curfew was lifted in Kishtwar district even as a massive search operation for suspected terrorists, who snatched the service rifle from a personal security officer of a PDP leader, continued for the second day on Saturday, officials said. The day curfew, which was imposed in the town following the weapon snatching incident on Friday, was lifted but all educational institutions remained closed as a precautionary measure, the officials said. A group of terrorists struck the house of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kishtwar district president Sheikh Nasir Hussain at Gourian village in the town and escaped with the service rifle of his Personal Security Officer (PSO) early on Friday.
“The curfew, which was imposed following the incident, was lifted this (Saturday) morning. However, all educational institutions in the town have been closed as a precautionary measure,” District Development Commissioner Angrez Singh Rana said.
He said the night curfew, however, will remain in force till further orders.
A massive search operation to track down the terrorists was going on, Rana said, adding the police is working on various leads and the culprits will be brought to book soon.
Officials said additional police and paramilitary forces have been deployed at entry and exit points in the town, where all incoming and outgoing vehicles are subjected to thorough checking.
They said the private car of the PDP leader’s brother in which the suspects fled was found abandoned in Dool village, about nine km from the town.
The hilly district, which was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, has witnessed a number of terror strikes and weapon snatching incidents over the past 10 months.
Terrorists snatched the service rifle of the deputy commissioner’s PSO Daleep Kumar on March 8. They struck again at district hospital on April 9, killing RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO before fleeing the scene with the service rifle of the slain cop.
On November 1 last year, terrorists shot dead BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar in Kishtwar town.
Though major breakthrough eluded the security forces in the investigation of the terror cases in the town, a Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) local terrorist Jamal-ud-din Gujjar alias “Abu Bakar”, who was active in Kishtwar for one year and was carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh, was arrested from adjoining Doda district on July 24.
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