Srinagar, May 3 (IANS) Security forces including para commandos started the ''first light intervention'' on Sunday to flush out the holed up terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir''s Kupwara district where a standoff had been going on between the holed up terrorists and the security forces since midnight.
"Firing exchanges had stopped around 12 a.m. today and since three army soldiers and two local policemen are also inside the house which the terrorists are using as a fortified bunker, room intervention by the para commandos is being carried out with utmost caution," a top intelligence officer told IANS.
Sources also told IANS that there has been no contact with the security personnel yet who had entered the house to sort out the terrorists without causing any collateral damage to civilian life and property.
It must be recalled that an army Colonel, who is the commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Rajwar area of Handwara tehsil, his company commander, a major, the Colonel''s buddy (soldier guarding the officer) and two policemen including a sub-inspector, who is the incharge of the SOG camp in the area and his guard, a police constable, had risked their lives during the operation when they chose to enter the house to eliminate the hiding terrorists on Saturday.
"Without caring for their safety in the true tradition of the Indian army wherein the officers lead our boys from the front, the Colonel and the major entered the house to sort out the hiding terrorists.
"Equally bravely did the police officer and his guard join the army officers to ensure that the hiding terrorists are eliminated without any collateral damage," top sources told IANS.
The operation was initially launched in the forest area of Rajwar in Handwara tehsil of Kupwara district on Saturday against terrorists who were reportedly hiding in the densely forested area.
Feeling the heat of the security personnel, the terrorists, initially believed to be two to three, came down to hide in a private house in Chanjimulla village thereby trying to save their lives by putting those of the villagers at great risk.
"It was to ensure the safety of the civilians in the village that the army officers and the police officer and his guard entered the house," sources said adding that the room intervention presently underway is part of the operation to eliminate the terrorists and to segregate them from the security personnel who had entered the house on Saturday after which the radio contact with them had broken off.
Senior officers of army and the local police, who reached the spot on Saturday evening, are supervising the final assault on the hiding terrorists whose number is now believed to be more than three.