Poonch, Jul 18 : Four foreign militants were killed in an encounter with the joint team of army and police in Surankote area of this district, officials said on Tuesday.
Addressing a presser Commander of 6 Sector of army’s Rastriya Rifles Surankote said that the group has been operating in Surankote for a long time and were disturbing the peace and tranquillity of the region. “Two recent incidents carried out by them had emboldened them to carry out such nefarious activities. With the elimination of these four militants, prosperity and progress have been given a new lease of life,” he said while being flanked by the SSP Poonch.
Giving details of the operation, the Commander said that the Indian Army has been continuing relentless operation in the past three months as part of “Op Trinetra”.
“As part of the same on July 16 input was received about movement of unidentified persons in Sindhrah – Bachianwali and Maidana. Accordingly the area was cordoned,” he said, adding, “ On July 17 specific intelligence regarding presence of armed (militants) near villages Sindarah and Maidana which are part of Surankote Tehsil, District Poonch was received.” Based on the intelligence, he said, Army and Special Operations Group of Police further launched a specific cordon and search operation of the area.
“After establishing an effective cordon the troops commenced their search operations and approached Village Sindrah. Four (militants) who had taken shelter in the forest near the village on noticing the troops opened indiscriminate fire on the approaching troops,” he said, adding, “Their fire was promptly retaliated and the (militants) were pinned down in the area. The cordon was then readjusted to deny any escape to them.”
The militants making use of the terrain, forest foliage and inclement weather kept opening fire onto the troops in a desperate attempt to break the cordon, he said.
“In a display of excellent leadership and coordination between Indian Army and Jammu Kashmir Police own troops displayed superior tactical acumen in retaliating the (militants) fire in a controlled manner while pinning them down in the given area.”
The intermittent fire between militants and troops continued till about 0530 hours after which there was no fire from the side of the militants. However the troops continued to be on the highest alert to prevent the trapped militants from escaping.
“At the first light a detailed search of the area was carried out. The search resulted in the recovery of a large quantity of arms and ammunition comprising of four AK 47 Rifles with Magazines and rounds. Two 9 mm Pistols with magazines and rounds were also recovered.” He said the bodies of the four militants were also found in the area. “I also wish to bring out the AKs are Chinese built and Pistols are made in Pak.”
He said that the presence of such heavily armed militants in the hinterland is indicative of attempts to “destabilise” the region. “If not neutralised in time these (militants) could have carried out major incidents in coming days”. He said the joint action by Indian army and police has resulted in saving the lives and contributed towards maintaining peace in the region. “The relentless efforts by Security forces in past few months have started to give results.”
He said the neighbour is leaving no stone unturned to disturb this region. “Pak residents along with Pak arms & ammunition have been infiltrating and creating hindrance in the peaceful existence of the locals,” he said, adding, “Recent contacts on the line of control bears testimony of their intentions. The foiled infiltration bid in Sarla and Noushera Sector are part of his game plan to spread instability in the region”.
He said four militant attacks since 1 January this year in which 9 civilians and 10 soldiers were killed at Dhangri, Bhata-Dhurian, and Kandi forest, and “now executing infiltration bids clearly indicate that Pakistan is trying its best to revive (militancy) and disturb peace in the Rajouri-Poonch border districts of Jammu province.”