The long-drawn seven-day-long encounter Anantnag encounter finally came to an end on Tuesday after the main target of the operation – Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Uzair Khan– was killed, along with other terrorists.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Vijay Kumar said, “So far, we have retrieved the body of Uzair Khan. The dead body of the second terrorist is visible but has not been retrieved yet. We had information about 2-3 terrorists. Maybe the body of the third terrorist will be there.”
Kumar further added," We are yet to search at many places as there may be many blind cells, which we aim to destroy. We appeal to the people to not go to the spot as there is a possibility of the presence of grenades. We got the information that there were 2-3 terrorists, and it is likely that they will recover the dead body of the third. The search is still underway."
The encounter broke out between security forces and terrorists hiding in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir last week on Wednesday.
Yesterday, two bodies were found in the forest area of the Gadole region on Monday. One of the deceased was identified as Pradeep, the soldier killed by the terrorists on Wednesday while the identity of the other deceased is being ascertained.
Colonel Manpreet Singh, commanding officer, of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonchak, and Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat lost their lives last Wednesday.
The search was extended to the neighbouring area of Posh Kreeri on Sunday as a precautionary measure in order to ensure that the terrorists don't slip into the civilian areas, reported PTI.
The security forces are using drones and helicopters for surveillance of the dense forest area with several cave-like hideouts where the terrorists are believed. Several cave-like hideouts are being examined where terrorists are believed to have been holed up since Wednesday. Footage of a drone locating a hideout deep in the woods and forces subsequently destroying it with explosives became viral on social media.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha while addressing a gathering late Sunday evening said that every drop of blood of the martyrs will be avenged and the terrorist handlers will have to pay a heavy price for the same. Sinha during his address said, "We have complete faith in our soldiers. The entire nation stands in solidarity with the jawans."
The operation — one of the deadliest and longest in the recent past— involved some of the army’s toughest fighting men, including those from the Special Forces, and counterterrorism specialists from J&K Police. For the past seven days, they targeted the alpine forest and natural cave-like structures suspected to be terrorist hideouts and fired several mortar shells and grenades toward the hilly forest area.
Image source: PTI