Press Trust of india

Second terrorist killed in Rajouri encounter

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Rajouri/Jammu: A second terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces on Wednesday in a remote village in Rajouri district, officials said.

On Tuesday, a suspected Pakistani terrorist was killed in the gunfight in the remote Narla village, while an army personnel and Kent, a six-year-old female labrador of the army’s dog unit, also lost their lives and four security personnel were injured.

“The killing of two suspected Pakistani terrorists once again demonstrated the stoic resolve of the security forces to deny any opportunity to the terrorists to disrupt peace and tranquility of the region,” Commander 14-sector Rashtriya Rifles Brigadier Soumeet Patnaik told reporters in Rajouri this evening.

Patnaik, who was flanked by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Poonch-Rajouri range, Haseeb Mughal, said the synergy among various security agencies is not allowing a foothold to terrorists who are forced to flee into the forest areas and “are being neutralised in well-coordinated operations”.

He said the bodies of both the terrorists, believed to be Pakistanis, were recovered along with two AK assault rifles and logistic stores.

Lauding the role of the local population during the successful operation, the DIG said, “We want to tell the civilians that peace is prosperity and help us in restoring it and have faith in us.”

“It was a very difficult operation given the terrain and inclement weather and its successful culmination will motivate us to act against terror activities with more vigour,” Mughal said.

Earlier, Additional Director General of Police (Jammu Zone) Mukesh Singh confirmed the killing of the second terrorist in Wednesday’s encounter in Rajouri.

Briefing media persons about the operation, Brigadier Patnaik said the high intensity of operations by the army, paramilitary forces and police over the last two months have kept the terrorists on the run.

“Feeling the pressure, the terrorists have been trying to move towards forested areas to avoid contact,” he said.

Based on intelligence inputs being received since the last operation on September 4 in the nearby Chassana area of Reasi district that left one terrorist killed, the officer said multiple columns of joint troops were mobilised to cover the areas where terrorists had been sighted by villagers.

“Braving inclement weather conditions, security forces continued to remain on the trail of the terrorists. On September 7, input was received about two unidentified individuals with bags in general area Mathiyani Gala in Rajouri and accordingly domination plan and intelligence operations were launched,” he said.

On September 11, two unidentified individuals with bags were again spotted by the patrol in the jungle at 1830 hours but the individuals managed their escape, taking advantage of poor visibility compounded with adverse weather conditions after being challenged by the troops, Brig Patnaik said.

On visual confirmation of the weapons with them, he said the troops fired at them and it is likely that one of them got injured.

“The joint cordon of the area was done along with police and night-enabled surveillance devices were pressed into service to deny any escape of the terrorists,” he said.

Early on September 12, during the search of the area, a bag left behind by the terrorists was found which contained Pakistan–made medicines among other things, he said.

He said army dog Kent was employed and the trail of the terrorists was followed for some distance. However, owing to rain and moisture, the trail was lost.

“Parties continued in the general direction and after some distance, blood was noticed. Army dog Kent was again employed and she picked up this trail and the party started closing in.

“Seeing the party moving closer, the terrorists hiding in the thick overgrowth opened fire at point-blank range at around 1515 hours. The initial fire hit Kent, her handler and another soldier covering the move,” the officer said.

Undeterred, the team continued to close in to prevent the terrorists from escaping and in the ensuing heavy firefight, displaying exceptional courage, the troops successfully neutralised one terrorist, he said.

The officer said army dog Kent was fatally wounded.

Three other soldiers and an SPO were injured. “Evacuation of soldiers was done. Since the terrorist fire was going on, the body of Kent could not be retrieved.

“Later, one of the three soldiers succumbed to his injuries. The other two soldiers and a police SPO were evacuated to the military hospital. As darkness set in and visibility started reducing with heavy rains, the cordon was again tightened to prevent the second terrorist from escaping,” he said.

Brigadier Patnaik said the firefight continued throughout the night to ensure terrorists do not get away.

“At around 1000 hours on September 13, the second terrorist was spotted and a firefight commenced, during which another soldier was injured. Finally, at around 1130 hours, the second terrorist was neutralised,” he said.

Brig Patnaik said the number of active terrorists in the region is continuously going down with the back-to-back successful operations.

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