Even after 48 hours Poonch encounter continues

A Special Police Officer (SPO) was killed when the encounter between militants and security forces,which started on Thursday...

Written by Aditya V Singh | Jammu | Published:January 4, 2009 1:36 am

A Special Police Officer (SPO) was killed when the encounter between militants and security forces,which started on Thursday,resumed in the forest area of Mendhar in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir,official sources said on Saturday. The slain SPO has been identified as Naresh Kumar of the Special Operation Group (SOG),Poonch. JCO Rakesh Kumar and Naik P K Singh,besides four militants,have so far been killed in the ongoing gun-battle.

A retired assistant sub-inspector of J-K police,Muzaffar Hussain Shan,was arrested for his alleged links with the terrorists who are engaged in the encounter. He is a resident of Tope near Batidhar.

No terrorists were reported to be killed on Saturday in the operation. On Friday,four terrorists were killed by security forces. The fierce gun-battle between the terrorists and the security forces comprising Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police is still continuing.

Official sources said the operation has been joined by the troops of 37 RR. Earlier,the joint operation was started by the 39 RR and the Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. Sources said about half a dozen terrorists were still firing indiscriminately on the operation team. The terrorists were armed with highly sophisticated weapons,including hand grenades which they are lobbing at the operation party.

The apprehended retired ASI has been sent to Joint Interrogation Centre,Jammu,for interrogation. Sources pointed out that the terrorists,engaged in the Mendhar encounter,were staying in the Batidhar forest area and had been getting logistic support from a few locals before the joint operation by the security forces was launched following specific tip off regarding presence of terrorists in the forest area.

Meanwhile,the Border Security Force on Saturday gunned down an intruder from Pakistan on the international border in RS Pura sector of Jammu district. Official sources informed that patrolling party of the Border Security Force observed suspicious movement along the border in the wee hours of Saturday at Kharkola border outpost. The troops of the 141 Bn searched the area,during which they noticed a man coming towards Indian side,sources informed. When the BSF men called out to the man,he did not respond and continued to approach the Indian territory. Following this,the BSF troops opened fire,killing the man,sources informed. Later,sources informed that nothing was recovered from his possession,and the intruder has not been identified.

Sources added that the BSF is yet to inform its Pakistani counterpart and a flag meeting in this connection has not been held yet. The killed intruder was in his 20s,officials pointed out.

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