Militants and armed forces in standoff at Pampore EDI

Srinagar: Indian Intelligence agencies’ warning that Pak-based militants would strike back over the recent surgical strikes came true earlier than expected. On Monday morning, two to four militants were found to have been holed up in Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in Pampore, just 15km from Srinagar.

The massive complex, sitting on the edge of Jhelum River, faces the Jammu-Srinagar highway and it is suspected that the militants had got into the institute from the river side as the highway is heavily secured. According to sources, the militants had been waiting at EDI for an opportunity to slip into Srinagar.

With security forces ringing the complex, it is a standoff between a handful of gunmen and Indian forces. No gunfire has been reported but fire was seen emanating from a wing of EDI in the morning. It is thought the fire was deliberately started by militants to divert security forces’ attention.

Ironically, the same complex was the target of militants in February this year. In that encounter, three militants were killed in a running battle with Indian armed forces. The operation that lasted nearly three days, was launched after gunmen attacked a CRPF convoy that resulted in six casualties on Indian side and took refuge in EDI building.

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