As the gunbattle in Bhati Dhar forest in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district entered the sixth day on Tuesday, the army said it has adopted a "wait and watch" strategy to take on the holed-up terrorists in cave hideouts in the area.
While an exchange of fire took place on Tuesday morning, there was no casualty. "We are adopting a wait and watch strategy in view of the heavy fog, dense forest and cave-type hideouts providing a major shield to terrorists hiding there. We have put entire area under cordon and choked their supplies," a senior army officer of 16 Corps told PTI.
"Let us see how long they can survive without food and water. They will be forced to come out and fight or surrender," he said.
Owing to the heavy winter fog, thick vegetation and difficult terrain conditions, the operation is being undertaken with due care and precautions, he said, adding "we do not want to have any casualty on our side at all."
Reports available with the security forces suggested that there were about seven militants trapped in the area out of which four have been killed, he said. Three security force personnel have also laid down their lives.
The ravine-like terrain along with several natural caves are providing cover for the ultras, he said, denying presence
of any fortified bunkers in the area.
"The militants have reportedly stored food. We got some literature and provisions from those places. They (terrorists) had a tin sheet and covered it with earth to convert it into a shelter. Because of these ravines and dense forests, it is a difficult operation and the poor visibility is causing hindrance," said Poonch range DIG Kamal Saini.