A massive search operation by security forces to track down terrorists continued for the second day in a remote village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Sunday, officials said, as there was no report of fresh firing between the two sides

Srinagar: A suspected Pakistani terrorist in combat dress was killed in the initial firing during a cordon and search operation at Gundah-Khawas village of Budhal on Saturday evening, leading to the recovery of a huge cache of arms and ammunition including an AK assault and two pistols, the officials said.

They said the exchange of firing stopped during the day but the search operation was further intensified and extended to nearby forest and adjoining areas to neutralise the terrorists.

Earlier, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Mukesh Singh and General Officer Commanding of Army's Romeo Force Major General Mohit Trivedi addressed a joint press conference in Rajouri and said they are determined to wipe out terrorism from the region.

"Some terrorists were noticed in the Gundah-Khawas around 1.30 pm on Saturday and, accordingly, a police party rushed to the village, besides informing the Army. When a cordon-and-search operation was launched, the terrorists opened fire, which was retaliated by the joint troops of the police, Army and the CRPF, resulting in the killing of a terrorist," Singh said.

He added the slain terrorist is believed to be from Pakistan and that it was evident from the material, including medicines and shoes, recovered from him.

"One more terrorist is present in the village and an encounter is on," he said, adding the seizure from the encounter scene, including raincoats and food items, indicated that they were trained to survive in jungle conditions.

Singh said strict action is being taken against over ground workers of the terror groups. "Several of them have already been booked under the Public Safety Act while we are also keeping a constant vigil on suspected persons."

"Action will be taken against any over ground worker whose linkage will be established during the investigation of the latest encounter," he said.

Major General Trivedi credited the success against the terrorists to the synergy among the Army, police and other sister agencies and the cooperation of the people.

"The operations against terrorists will continue to ensure they do not get a foothold. The terrorists were feeling that they will operate with ease but we have cornered them," he said, adding anyone having any ill will against the region or the country will be dealt with sternly.

In the morning, Jammu-based Army PRO Lt Col Suneel Bartwal said two to three terrorists are believed to be holed up in the besieged village and their repeated attempts to break the cordon have been thwarted by controlled fire throughout the night.

“After the initial contact, Army troops moved to the area and pinned down terrorists assessed to be up to two-three. Additional troops of the Rashtriya Rifles mobilised as the terrain is undulating and forested,” he said.

He said special forces were brought in by an Indian Air Force helicopter on Saturday, while night-enabled quadcopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and sniffer dogs were also pressed into service.

Meanwhile, police in Rajouri issued an advisory on Sunday, asking people to stay away from the encounter scene to avoid any casualties.

"It is for the information of all that the operation is in progress with exchange of crossfire in the general area of village Gundha, Khawas. People are advised not to visit the area and remain at a safe distance of at least two km outside the periphery of the area," the advisory reads.