Security forces today cordoned off the building of the Entrepreneurial Development Institute (EDI) in Sempora area of Pampore, along Srinagar-Jammu highway to take on the militants holed up inside. This is the third time this year that the building has become a site of a major clash between militants and the security forces.
Two Army captains, two CRPF personnel and a civilian were killed during the earlier clash in February.
However this time, the security forces don’t want to take any chances. The effort is to eliminate the militants without sustaining any casualty. So far, a jawan has been wounded in the fire from the building. He has been evacuated to the Army hospital.
The EDI comprises a set of concrete buildings. Militants, reportedly three in number, are believed to have taken cover inside a seven-floor hostel building which would make it difficult to neutralize them unless the forces either storm the building or destroy it, both the options they would like to avoid. The operation is thus likely to drag on.
“We have surrounded the building and sealed all escape routes,” a police officer said.
The February attack had lasted for three days. The main building of the institute had been destroyed in the attack.
The EDI attack follows a succession of recent strikes in Baramulla, Kupwara after India conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan, showing a calibrated attempt to intensify the militancy in the state.