Rajouri /Mendhar: A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Indian army and a soldier were killed in a fresh encounter that broke out in dense forests of Bhata Dhurian near Bhimber Gali of Mendhar in Poonch district late Thursday evening.
The area of fresh encounter is located adjacent to Dehra Ki Gali forest where an encounter broke out on Monday morning in which five army personnel including a Junior Commissioned Officer were killed.
Officials said that on Thursday morning, a specific intelligence input was received by security forces that some suspicious movement had taken place in a dense forest area of Bhata Dhurian village, located adjacent to Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway.
The village Bhata Dhurian is at a distance of about fifteen kilometres from Dehra Ki Gali. It is part of forest cover that runs up to Dehra Ki Gali, where the encounter started on Monday.
“Late Thursday evening, the search party of the army was moving inside the forest area when it came under heavy fire from hiding militants. A fierce exchange of fire took place," said officials.
They informed that one Junior Commissioned Officer and a jawan sustained critical injuries in the fire. “They both were evacuated but succumbed to their injuries," officials said. They further said that injuries to some other army men could not be ruled out.
Meanwhile, soon after an encounter broke out in Bhata Dhurian village area, the reinforcement of both army and police was rushed and the entire area was cordoned.
They said that the forest cover, where the encounter broke out, runs towards Mendhar sub division hence the entire area, including town, was cordoned.
PRO Defence Lt Col Devender Anand, in an official statement, however, mentioned only critical injuries to the JCO and a jawan in the operation.
“In an ongoing counter terrorist operation in general area Nar Khas forest, Mendhar sub division, district Poonch there has been exchange of fire between army troops and terrorists during evening hours on October 14, 2021. During the ensuing exchange of fire, one JCO and one soldier have been critically injured. The operations are under progress. Update follows,” Lt Col Anand said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing anti militancy operation in dense forest near Dehra Ki Gali entered its fourth consecutive day on Thursday.
The operation in Dehra Ki Gali started during the intervening night of October 10 and 11. Multiple exchanges of fire took place between forces and militants in the first two days. Five army personnel including a Junior Commissioned Officer were killed in the exchange of fire on Monday.
Massive combing operation continued in dense forest cover of Dehra Ki Gali including in some areas falling under Rajouri and Poonch districts.
“Our forces are on the job and operation is going on,” SP Rajouri Sheema Nabi Qasba said.