Searches continue, no fresh contact with terrorists in J-K’s Rajouri

Rajouri/Jammu, May 7 (PTI) No fresh contact was established with holed up terrorists in the forested Kandi area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, where a massive search operation to track ultras entered the third day on Sunday, officials said.

Five Army personnel and a terrorist, who is said to be part of the group that carried out an attack on civilians in Dhangri village of Rajouri early this year, were killed, while a major-rank officer was injured in the operation so far.

While the five soldiers lost their lives in an explosion triggered by the terrorists when the forces moved in to flush out ultras in the Kesari hill forest on Friday morning, the terrorist was gunned down the next morning after he along with his another associate was confronted shortly after midnight.

The other terrorist was believed to have been injured in the exchange of fire which lasted for several hours but managed to slip away, the officials said, adding the operation code named “Trinetra” was continuing when last reports were received.

“There was no fresh contact with the terrorists after Saturday’s encounter. The area witnessed heavy rains in the evening (Saturday) but the operation is on and the area remains under tight security cordon with all escape routes plugged,” a senior security official said.

He said Army, police and CRPF personnel are deployed in the operation area and are engaged in a massive combing operation to track down the terrorists.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with Army Chief General Manoj Pande and Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha visited the Ace of Spades Division headquarters in Rajouri on Saturday.

Northern Army commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi also visited the encounter site before the arrival of the defence minister and was briefed about the developments in the ‘Operation Trinetra’.

Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu, which were declared terrorism-free more than a decade ago, have been rocked by a series of deadly attacks since October 2021, resulting in the killing of 35 people, including 26 soldiers.