Jammu: The joint search operation launched by the Indian Army and Special Operations Group (SOG) in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district has concluded with the security forces lifting the cordon off from the two villages - Heff and Shirmal - on Wednesday.
The operation was called off as the security forces came under attack from a stone-pelting mob, which prevented them from locating any militants or their hide-outs.
A major search and combing operation was launched in the wee hours in Shopian district following inputs about a group of heavily armed terrorists hiding in the nearby villages.
The operation, which began at the midnight, involved nearly 1,000 security personnel, belonging to the Indian Army and Special Operations Group (SOG).
The security personnel conducted a massive door-to-door search at nearly 500 homes in these two villages to flush out terrorists holed up in the area.
This was the second major cordon-and-search operation in Shopian in south Kashmir in the last 15 days and the first after the killing of a young Kashmiri army officer Ummer Fayaz.
Intelligence sources had claimed nearly ten hardcore terrorists belonging to pro-Pakistan militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen were hiding in the dense forest near Shopian.
The operation was launched at a time when Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat are due to arrive in Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation amid heightened tension on the Line of Control (LoC) and student unrest in the Valley.
This would be Jaitley's first visit to the state after he took over the additional charge from Manohar Parrikar.
The Defence Minister advanced his visit by a day since he was otherwise scheduled to chair the two-day long Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meeting beginning here on Thursday.
During his visit to the LoC, Jaitley would meet the field commanders.
He will be briefed on the overall preparedness of the army to meet challenges of ceasefire violations by Pakistan and the heightened risk of infiltration as the snow starts to thaw on the mountains.
Sources here said the ongoing students' unrest fanning separatist sentiments in the valley would also remain in focus.
"The impact of an unrest on the overall security situation cannot be wished away. Therefore, the visit will also focus on ways and means to help the civil administration bring the situation under control," a top official said.