CASO in Lal Chowk triggers panic

It was part of the security drill: CRPF

The forces on Friday launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in the city centre Lal Chowk.
It was the second CASO in Srinagar in two years.
A joint CASO was launched by Special Operations Group (SOG) of Police and CRPF men including its Quick Action Team (QAT) at busy city centre, here.
At around 3 pm, forces arrived in bulletproof vehicles and took positions at the top of buildings around Ghanta Ghar at Lal Chowk.
The joint contingents of police and CRPF stood guard from Ghanta Ghar to Court Road while sharp shooters were deployed atop under construction building to keep an aerial watch on the area.
The forces personnel diverted the traffic from Residency Road to Jahangir Chowk—via Budshah Bridge. The forces also disallowed traffic via Amira Kadal towards Lal Chowk.
The movement of pedestrians was, however, allowed normally.
The search operation continued for an hour.
CRPF spokesperson, Sanjay Sharma told Kashmir Post that the security exercise was conducted to maintain normalcy in the city.
“It was a joint security exercise. The operation was not launched on specific information. The operation ended peacefully,” he said.
Witnesses said forces conducted searches in hotels, restaurants and shops in the area.
However, no contact was established with militants and neither any militant was found during the search operation.
According to police officer, the search operation, frisking and area domination practices— were a part of a routine security drill in the city after a militant attack left a CRPF man dead in Batamaloo area on July 24.
An hour after the CASO was lifted from Lal Chowk, troops patrolled through inner link road of Press Enclave, where unknown persons had damaged three cars on Thursday.
Later, the forces moved to Moulana Azad road and conducted searches in Ali Jan complex.
The CASO was conducted for the second time in last two years. Earlier, on 10 June last year, forces had conducted searches in Lal Chowk to check movement of militants in the city.
Since the July 24 militant attack, the security has been intensified in the city with the forces establishing checkpoints at several locations and conducting frisking of motorcyclists to possibly check the movement of militants.
“This is being done as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident,” Sharma said.