Srinagar: Firing resumed on Monday, at the encounter site in Bhatta Durrian forest of Mendhar along with nearby forest areas adjoining Surankote (Poonch) and Thanamandi in Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, as J&K is witnessing a massive search operation.
Nine Army personnel were killed in separate ambushes in Surankote and Mendhar on October 11 and 14, entered the 15th day on Monday, during the operation.
On Sunday, an arrested Pakistani terrorist was killed, while three security personnel were injured when terrorists opened fire on a joint search party of the Army and police inside a forest in Poonch district.
According to an official, Detenue Zia Mustafa, a Pakistani terrorist of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was taken to Bhata Durian for identification of a terrorist hideout during the ongoing joint search operation in which three army jawans and a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were martyred.
“During the search, when the team approached the hideout, terrorists again opened fire on the joint team of police and army personnel in which two policemen and an army jawan sustained injuries. Zia Mustafa also sustained injuries and he could not be extracted from the site due to heavy fire,” the official said.
Injured personnel are under treatment at the nearby health facility. A fresh attempt will be made with reinforcements.
Meanwhile, a highly trained and heavily armed terrorist group hiding in the Rajouri and Poonch area was in regular touch with a dreaded terrorist lodged in a high security jail of Jammu and Kashmir, the official said.
“Terrorist groups and terrorists lodged in jail were in touch with each other and sharing a lot of vital information related to movements and operations. The terrorist lodged in jail who was in touch with a terrorist group here over telephonic conversation was identified as Zia from Rawlakote PoK,” the official said.
The official further added that the Pakistan connection and attempts for revival of militancy in Rajouri and Poonch are now connected with the high security jails of the Union Territory.
“Zia Mustafa was inside the Kot Bhalwal Central jail in Jammu from where he allegedly managed a mobile phone and stayed in contact with terrorists explaining the routes to enter Jammu and Kashmir,” media sources said.
Security forces, after suspecting his role, brought him to Mendhar, Poonch district on a 10-day police remand for questioning. Currently, Mustafa’s role is being investigated in connection with the ongoing encounters in Poonch, which entered Day 14 on Sunday,” media sources added.
As per India Today on-ground information, Mustafa originally hailed from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and entered India some 15 years ago via the LoC near Surankote.