Police and other security forces on Wednesday launched a massive search operation along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir to sanitize the border villages ahead of Amarnath Yatra next month, officials said.

The joint operation by police, Army, BSF and CRPF is underway at village Glad and adjoining areas near the border fence, the officials said.

"The primary focus of the operation is on village Glad due to its close proximity to the border as well as (Jammu-Pathankot) National highway,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Operations, Samba G R Bhardwaj told reporters.

Bhardwaj, who was leading the search operation, said the coordinated effort of the forces is to sanitize the border villages ahead of the upcoming events like Amarnath Yatra which is scheduled to commence on June 30.

Referring to the detection of a tunnel beneath the IB by BSF in Chak Faquira area of the district on May 4, he said the Amarnath pilgrims use the highways and it is imperative to step up the vigil for their safety as “we are all focused to ensure peaceful conclusion of the yatra”.

“The operation was planned to reach out to the border villagers and ask them to immediately report any suspicious movement to the forces. We are also undertaking the anti-tunnelling drive,” he said.

He said the areas with ravines, rivulets and wild grass are being thoroughly searched as anti-national elements usually use these to hide weapons smuggled from across the border or dropped by drones.

Meanwhile, a joint search operation by the police and Army is also going on in the general area of village Kasbalari in Mankote sector in Poonch district.

The operation started around 8.30 am in the forest area close to Line of Control (LoC) following reports of suspicious movement, the officials said.