JAMMU, Aug 06: As many as two to three more terrorists have been ‘pinned down’ by the security forces in a gunfight which broke out in the dense forests of Khawas area of Budhal in border district Rajouri on Saturday and the search operation is underway, Army said on Sunday.
“One terrorist has been killed, while 2-3 terrorists have been pinned down in the heavy exchange of fire in the dense forests of Rajouri,” PRO Defence, Lt Col Suneel Bartwal, informed Rising Kashmir, while adding, “After pinning down of the terrorists, the firing stopped at around 8 AM in the morning”.
There has been no exchange of fire after 8am on Sunday, the PRO said, adding, “Now, the intense search operation is going on in the forests”. The body of the one slain terrorist has been recovered, while the search for other terrorists is going on, he added.
Around three groups of terrorists are operating in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region. Each group comprises of two to three terrorists, said police officials.
“Two or three groups of terrorists are believed to be present in the (Pir Panjal) region and each group comprises of two to three terrorists but their exact number is difficult to say,” ADGP, Mukesh Singh, said while addressing media persons at Rajouri. Army’s Romeo Force Major General, Mohit Trivedi was also present at the press meet.
The terrorists killed in the encounter is a Pakistani and was wearing a combat uniform. A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including an AK assault rifle and two pistols, were recovered from the spot. The slain terrorist is believed to be from Pakistan as it was evident from the material, including medicines and shoes, recovered from him.
The seizure from the encounter spot, including raincoats and food items, indicate that they were trained to survive in forest areas, Singh said.
About the possible involvement of the slain terrorist in the Dhangri attack where seven civilians were killed in January this year, Singh said, “It is a part of the investigation and we will call the eyewitnesses for the identification of the slain terrorist.” He said strict action is being taken against Over Ground Workers (OGWs) and several of them have already been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). Major General Trivedi said that the success against the terrorists is due to the synergy among the Army, police and other agencies and most importantly a result of peoples’ cooperation.
It may be mentioned that on the basis of specific intelligence inputs, the Army, CRPF and the J&K Police launched a joint operation in the dense forests in Khawas area of Rajouri on Saturday. Additional troops of Rashtriya Rifles were mobilised and special forces were brought in by Indian Air Force helicopter to support the forces engaged in gunfight. Repeated attempts were made by the terrorists to break the cordon but were thwarted by forces throughout the night. Night enabled Quadcopters, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Sniffer Dogs were also used in the operation.