Operation Sarp Vinash


Nestled amidst the stunning vistas of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajouri tells a tale of courage and hope. For many years, this town faced a difficult time because of terrorists. But then, something remarkable happened. Operation Sarp Vinash began. This operation was a big effort by the Indian Army and local people to stop the terrorists. They worked together to make Rajouri safe again. In this article, we’ll discover how Rajouri’s people, with their bravery and unity, turned the tide against terror.

Rajouri of J&K

Rajouri is a Town in the Rajouri District in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. The town is about 155 kilometers from Srinagar and 150 km from Jammu city. The town is famous for Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University and the Sikh general Banda Singh Bahadur. Operation Sarp Vinash made Rajauri a bit more famous.

The last ten years have been peaceful for the remote villages of Rajouri. There has not been a terrorist activity in a decade. People live peacefully in small villages spread far and wide in the mountains. Locals Gujjars keep their cattle comfortably. 

But it wasn’t always peaceful like this before. Terrorists ruled Rajouri till two decades ago. This peace happened when the local Gujjars decided to fight with the Indian Army and police against terrorism.

Terrorists from Pakistan used to stay and hide here in the mountains. They used to train and then cross Pir Panjal and carry out terrorist attacks in the southern part of Kashmir. 

How & Why Operation Sarp Vinash Started

Operation Sarp Vinash
Indian Army Soldiers during Operation Sarp Vinash

After Kargil, terrorists started to build their hideouts in the hills of Pir Panjal. Soon, the high mountains that divided Jammu and Kashmir became their safe haven. Local Gujjars roam those mountains with their cattle.

Gujjars built temporary bases called dhokas all over the place, which they used to rest and for several other stuffs. The terrorist took over these and made them their strong base. They intended to launch a guerrilla attack across Jammu and Kashmir by building a secure base here.

One Local Gujjar Death Leads to Their Destruction

The terrorists carried out mass massacres to intimidate the people here into fearing and supporting them. But one kill created such a wave of hatred against terrorists.  

These terrorists killed a Gujjar youth of Hill Kaka village in the year 2002 as they suspected him of being an informer. This incident inspired many Gujjar youths, including the deceased young’s Brother, to take up arms against the terrorists. All these youths used to work in Saudi Arabia. Many of them came back to get revenge and contacted The Army.

They told the Army about their place of bases. As per them, they had every facility available to them, like rations, drinking water, Security, and even hospitals.

The army and police trusted their information and started a major operation. The operation’s name was Operation Sarp Vinash. Gujjars were arms trained by the Indian Army. Special Forces nine paras were a vital part of this operation on the hills of Hill Kaka. The first attack was carried out in January 2003. but then heavy snowfall made it impossible. 

The operation was launched on April 22. A special group of police and the army, along with local Gujjars. The operation continued in 150 sq km till June. 

This was the first major military operation after Kargil, which caught the attention of the whole country. This operation was on such a scale that Helicopters and artillery were used in it. The terrorist who killed the Gujjar Youth in Hill Kaka was killed in action. 

“Tahir Fazal Chaudhary, Brother of Gujjar youth, who was the head of this campaign, says that no terrorist could stand before us. He said, ‘Gujjars take training as soon as they are born to climb and descend the mountain. When he got the support of the army police, it became very easy to eliminate the terrorists.” 

65 terrorists were killed in the operation. Security forces destroyed their 119 fixed position. The Army recovered 47 assault rifles, 11 foreign pistols, 12 machine guns, 19 under-barrel grenade launchers, 178 grenades, 25 mines, and a rocket launcher, including a large amount of ammunition. Seven thousand kg of Rice were recovered, Enough to feed 300 terrorists for the whole winter. 

Tora Bora hills of Afghanistan-like bunker were built, which was 20-40 ft deep in the mountains. In those bunkers, 50 terrorists could take shelter at a time. They were destroyed in the bombing.


Operation Sarp Vinash broke the back of terrorists in the south of Pir Panjal. In response, they carried out some attacks in remote villages but were quickly eliminated by local people and security forces. Terrorism is now only an old memory for the people living in the villages here. For the past several years, no terrorist gang has dared to commit any crime in these areas.