Sunday, Sep 25, 2022

Poonch: Locals Asked To Remain Inside As Army Plans Large Scale Operation To Hunt Down Militants

Indian Army's operation comes as a retaliation to the October 11 killing of an army officer and four soldiers during an encounter between security forces and the militants in the Surankote area of the Poonch sector.

Representational Image PTI

 The local administration and the police have asked people in some areas of the frontier district of Poonch to remain inside their homes as the Army is going to launch a major operation against militants in the Bhatadurian forest area. 

According to the locals, announcements were made since Monday evening asking people to remain inside. The announcements were made particularly for Bhatadurian and adjoining areas.

Locals said the people were alerted through the public address system in local mosques and were asked not to venture into the forest area and keep their livestock at their homes. Those who have been out in fields have been asked to return to their homes.

 On Monday Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane visited forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district. The Army chief reviewed the Bhatadurian operation that has entered the tenth day today without any trace of militants.

 On October 11, an army officer and four soldiers were killed during an encounter between security forces and the militants in the Surankote area of the Poonch sector.

 Later on October 14 evening, two Army personnel were killed in the Nar Khas forest area in Mendhar Poonch during a counter militant operation. The Army had said during the operation, there was a heavy exchange of fire and in the ensuing gunfight rifleman, Vikram Singh Negi and rifleman Yogambar Singh were critically injured and later succumbed to their injuries.

Later, on October 16 Army recovered the bodies of two soldiers Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh, who were part of operations launched by the security forces in the forest area.

The army has pressed drones and helicopters to assist the troops in the jungle.

The police have detained around six local civilians for allegedly providing logistical support to the militants. 

The authorities have ordered the suspension of traffic on Bhimber Gali-Poonch national highway as the forests overlook the main road. On August 6 this year, three militants and a JCO of the army were killed in a fierce encounter in the Thanna Mandi area of the Rajouri district. One of the slain militants was from the Shopian district of Kashmir and two others were stated to be foreigners.

 Meanwhile, security forces have also intensified counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir and killed at least 15 militants in the past two weeks.

 The police said two militants of the Resistance Front including Aadil Wani have been killed in an encounter with a joint team of security forces at Dragad area of Shopian in South Kashmir.

 The police said they were involved in the killing of two non-local labourers in Kulgam.

 Officials said three army soldiers also received injuries during the fierce gun battle with militants. Officials said that arms and ammunition has been recovered from the gunfight spot, while a search operation is going on in the area.

 Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir police detained and questioned over 700 youth as part of their probe into the killing of non-local workers and non-Muslims.

 Union home minister Amit Shah is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir in the last week of October to review the security situation and also inaugurate developmental projects.