In the ongoing Poonch encounter between the security forces and militants, bodies of two soldiers, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), have been recovered, taking the death toll to nine soldiers. According to the Army, the bodies of a jawan and the JCO were recovered during the search operation on October 16.
A Jammu-based defence spokesman said Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh of the Indian Army were killed in action during a search operation along with Jammu and Kashmir Police in a densely forested area of Nar Khas in Mendhar in the border district of Poonch in Jammu.
“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. On October 14, after a fierce firefight with terrorists, communication with Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh was disrupted. Relentless operations continued to neutralise 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,” the spokesman said. “The operations in the area are continuing,” he added.
On October 14 evening, two Army personnel were killed in the Nar Khas forest area in Mendhar Poonch during a counter-insurgency operation. The Army had said during the operation that there was heavy exchange of fire and in the ensuing gunfight rifleman Vikram Singh Negi and rifleman Yogambar Singh were critically injured and had later succumbed to their injuries.
On October 11, an army officer and four other soldiers were killed in action during an encounter between security forces and militants in the Surankote area of Poonch.
At the same time, authorities have ordered the suspension of traffic on the Bhimber Gali-Poonch national highway as the forests overlook the main road. On August 6 this year, three militants and a JCO of the army were killed in a fierce encounter in the Thanna Mandi area of Rajouri district. One of the slain militants was from Shopian district of Kashmir; two others were stated to be foreigners.