As Poonch Search Operation Completes a Week, 3 Locals Detained By J&K Police
A security operation is underway in the Poonch-Rajouri forest belt where nine army personnel were killed last week.
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday, 17 October, detained three locals for interrogation as a security operation continues in the forest range between Poonch and Rajouri districts, where nine army personnel were killed last week.
The three detainees, all residents of Bhatta Durrian forest, are suspected to have provided logistical support to terrorists, news agency PTI reported.
Two of the three have been identified by The Indian Express as a 45-year-old woman, Zarina Akhter, and her son as Shafait, 19.
It is yet to be ascertained whether the detainees had provided assistance to the terrorists wilfully or under threat.
What Had Happened in Poonch-Rajouri?
A junior commissioned officer (JCO) and four soldiers were killed in action during a gunfight with militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector on 11 October. A cordon and search operation had subsequently been launched in the area.
On Thursday, 14 October, four more soldiers, including another JCO, died in an encounter with terrorists in the Poonch-Rajouri forest belt – making it one of the deadliest weeks for the army.
"The presence of terrorists 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," Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rajouri-Poonch range, Vivek Gupta was quoted as saying by PTI on Saturday.
"A joint security grid was tracking different groups of terrorists but sometimes operations take time depending on the topography of the area. Contact with the terrorists was established thrice this week based on intelligence inputs," he added.
The entire forest area extending from Mendhar to Thanamandi remains cordonned, while a search operation has been underway for a week in order to neutralise the terrorists, PTI reported, citing officials.
(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)
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