Jammu gunfight: Three militants killed, officer among eight forces" personnel wounded

General Officer Commanding (GOC), Uniform Force Major General Arvind Bhatia confirmed the killing of three militants.

Thre militants were killed and eight forces’ personnel injured Thursday in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, a day after they fired on a police party here and escaped, officials said.

General Officer Commanding (GOC), Uniform Force Major General Arvind Bhatia confirmed the killing of three militants.

He said the operation has been called off following the killing of three militants.

The gunfight broke out after forces, comprising CRPF, police and Army personnel, during a cordon and search operation, zeroed in on a location near a house in the district’s Kakriyal area, and surrounded the militants, the officials said.

Drones and choppers were used in the operation, which was launched Wednesday to track the three militants, aged between 18 and 22 years, they said.

Three militants were killed and eight security personnel, including Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mohan Lal, injured, police said.

Five CRPF personnel and three policemen were injured during the operation, they said, adding that they were admitted to the Narayana hospital in Katra.

The cordon and search operation to track down the militants was launched in the Jhajjar-Kotli forest belt in Jammu and Reasi district after the militants fired on the forces personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway Wednesday, the officials said.

The militants after the incident had fled into the forest belt of which Kakriyal is a part.

During the operation, security agencies were informed by a villager that the militants had taken food and clothes and left his house on Wednesday night, a senior police official said.

Speaking to reporters, the villager said, "They came to my house at 8 pm and demanded clothes to change from their(combat) dress. They demanded food. They ate biscuits and drank water and left around 9.10 pm." 

The militants also demanded a vehicle, but "we told them, we do not have one," the villager said, adding that they were asked to switch-off their mobile phones.

The official said the family immediately informed the police after the militants left.

The CRPF, the police and the army along with personnel from other security agencies are combing the area, he said.

The official said areas and check posts along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway are on alert. More checkpoints have been created and vehicles are being searched and passengers frisked, he said.

"The Jhajjar-Kotli forest belt and adjoining areas have been put under a massive cordon," the official said.

Traffic movement on the highway, between Nagrota and Jhajjar-Kotli, has been suspended and schools in the area have been closed for the day. (With inputs from PTI, Yogesh Sagotra)