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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Poonch encounter: 8 people, including mother-son duo, held for questioning

Eight suspected persons including a mother-son duo were detained for questioning from Bhatta Durian in Poonch in connection with providing logistic support to the militants.

However, it is to be seen whether the support was given voluntarily or under duress, officials said.

Earlier on Saturday, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rajouri-Poonch range, Vivek Gupta said the presence of militants in the forest area connecting Poonch and Rajouri was observed two and a half months ago, and accordingly, tactical operations were launched to track them down.

“The joint security grid was tracking different groups of militants but sometimes operations take time, depending on the topography of the area. The contact with the militants was established on three occasions during the start of the operation, based on the intelligence inputs,” the officer had said on Wednesday last week, adding the militants are holed up and the joint forces are on the job to take the operation to the logical conclusion.

The army has already deployed para-commandos and a helicopter was also seen hovering over the forest area on Saturday for surveillance.

The traffic between Mendhar and Thanamandi along the Jammu-Rajouri highway remained suspended as a precautionary measure for the fifth day on Tuesday in the wake of the ongoing operation.

Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region have witnessed a rise in infiltration attempts since June this year, resulting in the killing of nine terrorists in separate encounters.

While a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and four other personnel were killed in a fierce gunfight during the start of the counter-insurgency operation in Surankote forest of Poonch on October 11, four other soldiers including another JCO lost their lives in another encounter in Nar Khas forest in Mendhar on Thursday evening after the forces extended the cordon and search operation.

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