In a significant development, the Central Reserve Police Force’s elite CoBRA unit has been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for the first time. These Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) units, previously stationed in Bihar and Jharkhand, were brought to Kashmir’s Kupwara for training in April. Initially, they had not received any assignments, but now they are prepared for deployment, according to sources.

The CoBRA unit is a specialized guerilla warfare commando unit under the CRPF, renowned for its expertise in combat within forested environments. CoBRA commandos are known for their tough mental and physical attributes, making them highly skilled in challenging terrains.

While most CoBRA teams are primarily deployed in states affected by Naxal violence, some are stationed in northeastern states for counter-insurgency operations. The CRPF, with approximately 3.25 lakh personnel, serves as the leading internal security combat unit and is extensively deployed in three main theatres: Jammu and Kashmir, states affected by Left Wing Extremism, and insurgency-prone areas in Northeast India.

This development coincides with an ongoing operation to eliminate terrorists entrenched in the Gadole forest area of Anantnag district in J&K. The operation has entered its sixth day, with security forces employing drones and helicopters for surveillance in the dense forest, which contains numerous cave-like hideouts where the terrorists have taken refuge since the initial exchange of fire on Wednesday. This engagement has already resulted in casualties, including the loss of two Army officers and a deputy superintendent of police.