Soldiers in action during a gunfight between security forces and militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on March 9, 2017. [Representational Image]IANS

A major search operation was launched by the Indian Army in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday morning. Two villages in the district were also cordoned off.

The Indian Army launched the massive anti-terror operation after receiving information about the presence of militants in the area. According to media reports, around 1,000 security personnel were involved in the operation. 

The cordon has been lifted. 

Security forces cordoned off the district's Heff-Shirmal area on Wednesday morning, triggering clashes as scores of people took to the streets and chanted pro-freedom slogans. They also pelted stones and rocks at the personnel in an attempt to disrupt the search operation, Greater Kashmir reported.

The security forces were compelled to use tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. Additional forces have been rushed to the area to deal with stone-pelters. No casualties or injuries have been reported yet.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will meet on Wednesday to review the security situation in the Valley following an increase in the number of ceasefire violations and stone-pelting incidents.

The search operation comes two weeks after the forces had launched a similar operation in the district. The previous operation was carried out on a much larger scale with over 4,000 troops carrying out search operation in almost two dozen villages in the district. A convoy of the Indian Army, which was returning after the completion of the operation, was attacked by terrorists resulting in the death of a driver and injuries to several personnel.

Ceasefire violation in Balakote

Meanwhile, Pakistan violated ceasefire yet again by resorting to unprovoked firing at Indian posts along the Line of Control in the Balakote sector on Wednesday. The Pakistani troops also fired at military posts and civilian areas in the Rajouri district on Tuesday night. 

A defence spokesperson told the media that the Pakistan Army resorted to indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic weapons and 82 mm and 120 mm mortars along the LoC in Nowshera sector from 6:30 pm on Tuesday night. The firing continued till 9 pm on Tuesday.

The firing and shelling from across the border has affected over 10,000 people. Almost 1,700 people have been evacuated from the LoC hamlets hit by shelling from across the border. They have been shifted to relief camps.