Army sources said CASO will be carried out in a major way in militancy-hit areas of Kulgam, Pulwama, Tral, Budgam and Shopian in south Kashmir.
“CASO will be a permanent feature as part of counter-militancy operations after a gap of 15 years,” sources told PTI.
The Army had discontinued CASO following stiff opposition from the local population and after 2001 launched cordon and search operations only on specific intelligence-based inputs. The security establishment felt that CASO had alienated the local population from the armed forces due to difficulties people faced during such operations.
The decision to re-introduce CASO as a major feature of the counter-militancy operations comes against the backdrop of anger over the recent killing of young and unarmed Kashmiri Army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz in Shopian by suspected militants.
The armed forces had carried out a major operation involving 4,000 troops in south Kashmir last week to flush out militants, indicating a change in strategy