Mendhar encounter| 2 missing soldiers found dead; toll 4

Mendhar encounter| 2 missing soldiers found dead; toll 4
Officials told Greater Kashmir that the encounter in Bhata Dhurian village area entered its third day on Saturday while intermittent fire of heavy calibre continued throughout the day. [Representational Image]File/ GK

Rajouri: The bodies of two missing soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were recovered on Saturday during the fierce encounter between forces and militants, going on in dense forest area of Bhata Dhurian in Mendhar, for the past three days.

With the recovery of these bodies, the number of fatal casualties suffered by army in this operation has reached four.

Officials told Greater Kashmir that the encounter in Bhata Dhurian village area entered its third day on Saturday while intermittent fire of heavy calibre continued throughout the day.

During search operation in the forest, which is the encounter site, the army teams recovered bodies of two soldiers, who had been reported to be missing since Thursday evening after encounter broke out in the area.

“Both the bodies were retrieved on Saturday evening and have now been brought to Primary Health Centre Bhata Dhurian for the post-mortem examination," said officials. They further said that with this, total four army personnel were so far killed in this encounter that broke out in Bhata Dhurian forest area.

Meanwhile, the army, in an official statement, said, “Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh of Indian army were killed in action during search operations being conducted by the Indian army along with Jammu and Kashmir Police in densely forested area of Nar Khas forest in Mendhar, district Poonch.”

“Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh were part of search operations launched by the security forces to flush out terrorists hiding in the forested area," army said in its statement.

“On October 14, 2021 after a fierce fire-fight with terrorists, the communication with Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh was disrupted,” said army.

“Relentless operations continued to neutralize the terrorists and to re-establish communication with the soldiers. Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh were killed in action in the fierce fight and their bodies have been recovered in the evening of October 16, 2021. The operations in the area are continuing,” army added.

Earlier on Thursday, two army soldiers sustained injuries in gunfight in this forest. They later succumbed and they were identified as Rifleman Yogambar Singh and Rifleman Vikram Singh Negi. “Heavy gunfire continued at the encounter site throughout the day on Saturday as army also used heavy weaponry to target the suspected area of a forest gorge where militants could be hiding,” officials said.

They added that villages including Bhata Dhurian, Nar forest area, Sanjiote were under tight cordon but there were no immediate reports of any militant killing so far.

Meanwhile, anti militancy operation, going on in Chamrer and Dehra Ki Gali forest area on the boundary of Rajouri and Poonch, entered its sixth day on Saturday with army and police continued to be on their job. In this encounter, five army personnel including a Junior Commissioned Officer were killed after their search team came under fire from militants in dense Chamrer forest.

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