At least 44 people allegedly involved in "terror-related activities" were apprehended, while Chinese and Pakistani flags were seized by the Indian Army during a 12-hour joint search operation in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir in the early hours of Monday.
"Extensive search operation was launched by the forces in old town Baramulla during the wee hours of October 17. Joint teams of Army, JK Police, BSF and CRPF conducted deliberate search operations in 10 sensitive localities including Qazi Hamam, Ganai Hamam, Taweed Gunj, Jamia and other mohallas reportedly being used as safe havens by the militants," a statement issued by the army spokesperson read.
The statement added: "large quantity of incriminating material such as petrol bombs, Chinese and Pakistani flags, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) letter head pads, unauthorized mobile phones and seditious anti-national publicity material were seized during the raids. In addition a large number of suspected hideouts were busted during the prolonged search operations."
The forces also sanitised the area, while searching more than 700 houses within 12 hours and arresting 44 people for terror-related activities.
Baramulla senior superintendent of police Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, however, claimed that the search operation was carried out after receiving a tip-off about the presence of a few JeM militants in the area.
According to the locals, the authorities made an announcement of the siege and asked citizens to stay indoors while security personnel searched every house, the Times of India reported. Forces carried out the search operation around 1 am on Monday.
"The forces checked the youngsters for pellet injuries and similar wounds to identify those who had participated in protests and resorted to stone-pelting," a local resident told the daily.
Citizens also claimed that the forces restricted public movement by sealing the bridges connecting it with the Civil Lines area.