50 hours later,Poonch encounter still on
Encounter that began in Mendhar area of Poonch district on Thursday is still on. It has been more than 50 hours since the encounter started.
Four militants have been killed while one policeman and 2 army jawans have lost their lives.
Additional reinforcement of police and army have been brought and the area has been cordoned off.
The gunmen are believed to be Jaish members.
The trees close to the Line of Control in Mendhar have provided good cover for the militants resulting in the killing of two jawans and a special police officer.
Though the security forces have also killed four of the militants, going by the heavy retaliatory fire there are many more militants still hiding in the forest.
For the past one week, intercepts had been pouring in about the movement of the militants in the area. On Thursday night, the police and army cordoned off the area and began firing.
It's one of the longest encounters in the area in recent times, which is being prolonged by bad weather and poor visibility.
"It's a thick forest; there is a lot of fog there and the visibility is very poor. That's why the encounter is still going on," said S N Acharaya, Defence spokesman in J&K.
Just at the time when Jammu Kashmir saw peaceful elections, militancy has returned to haunt in the shape of Poonch encounter. Clearly, in an atmosphere of strained relations between India and Pakistan, militancy could well once again take the centrestage and dealing with that would perhaps be the biggest challenge for the new political dispensation