Mendhar encounter: Day 16 | Operation continues, forces on job: Army

No exchange of gunfire in last 3 days | Poonch highway stretch remains out of bound
Mendhar encounter: Day 16 | Operation continues, forces on job: Army
[Representational Picture]File/ANI

Rajouri, Oct 29: An uneasy lull prevailed on the site of encounter at Bhata Dhurian Nar forests in Mendhar sub-division of Poonch on the 16th day of encounter on Friday with no gunfire reported in the last three days.

Meanwhile the National Highway between Bhimber Gali and Jarran Wali Gali also continued to remain closed for the 16th day.

This encounter had started on October 14 after the security forces received a tip off regarding the presence of militants in Nar Khas forests of Bhata Dhurian. The area was cordoned. During the search operation, an army team came under heavy fire from militants in which four army personnel were killed.

Entire area of Nar Khas, Bhata Dhurian and Sanjiote has been under cordon with heavy deployment of both army and police, who have laid multi-tier cordon in the area, since October 14.

However, the prolonged anti-militancy operation has yet to see some tangible result on the ground. Success in tracking militants continues to elude the security forces who have already suffered four fatal casualties in the operation. Earlier, five army personnel lost their lives in the encounter at Dehra Ki Gali, which is a few kms away from Bhata Dhurian.

“No fresh firing has taken place in the area during the last three days. There is a situation of complete lull,” said official sources.

They, however, said that teams of army and police were on job and searches were going on in the area.

“Operation is going on and our forces are on job,” PRO Defence Lt Col Devender Anand said.

Meanwhile, the national highway 144-A connecting Poonch district with Rajouri and Jammu also continued to remain closed between Jarran Wali Gali to Bhimber Gali. Restrictions remained in place on movement of traffic at this stretch of twenty kilometers that passes through Bhata Dhurian encounter site.

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