Combing operation continues in Mendhar

Poonch-Rajouri highway stretch opens after 18 days
Combing operation continues in Mendhar
Security personnel during a search operation after an encounter, at Bhimber Gali, in Poonch district. [File]ANI

Rajouri: The security forces continued searches as an ongoing anti-militancy operation in Nar forests of Bhata Dhurian village of Mendhar entered the 18th day on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the stretch of National Highway between Jarran Wali Gali and Bhimber Gali was also thrown open for traffic after 18 days.

Ongoing operation started on October 14 after a contact was established between militants and security forces during searches. Four army personnel lost their lives in the exchange of gun-fire.

For the last eighteen days, the entire Nar Khas, parts of Bhata Dhurian and Sanjiote too remained under cordon. However, on Sunday, the cordon in the area was eased to some extent.

“Only inner forest pocket of Nar Khas is under cordon and a combing operation in the area is going on,” said officials.

Meanwhile, around twenty kilometres stretch of Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway that was closed in the wake of this operation at Nar Khas in Bhata Dhurian, was opened for traffic on Sunday morning.

The opening came as a big relief for commuters as well as the local shopkeepers.

“This highway stretch between Bhimber Gali to Jarran Wali Gali was closed on October 14 evening after an encounter broke out in the area of Nar Khas forest of Bhata Dhurian in which four army personnel were killed,” the officials said. The traffic was diverted from the Mendhar side.

However this morning, the authorities ordered the reopening of the highway. The barricades on both ends too were removed by the police.

“Civilian traffic on the highway has been restored now,” a traffic police officer confirmed.

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