Colonel, Major among 5 personnel killed in encounter in Kashmir; 2 terrorists gunned down

Sallie Anderson

New Delhi:

In the greatest loss in current years, 2 senior Army officers, consisting of a colonel, were among 5 security personnel killed throughout an encounter with terrorists in north Kashmir, authorities stated on Sunday.The encounter in Handwara in Kupwara district declared the lives of Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh and Lance Naik Dinesh, all from the Brigade of the Guards program, and at present part of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles and released to counter terrorism in the hinterland.

A Jammu and Kashmir Cops Sub-Inspector, Sageer Ahmad Pathan alias Qazi, likewise succumbed to the bullets ofterrorists Earlier his name was offered by authorities as Shakeel Qazi. Prior to this, the Army had actually lost 2 colonel-ranking officer in different fear events in 2015.

Providing information of the encounter at a town in Rajwar forests, authorities stated the 2 holed-up terrorists, who were removed in the encounter, consisted of leader of prohibited Lashker-e-Taiba Haider, a Pakistani national who has actually been active in the north Kashmir location. The identity of the other was yet to be determined.

They had actually held some civilians captive, the authorities stated, including that a couple of terrorists might have handled to provide security forces the slip under the cover of darkness. A hunt has actually been introduced in the whole location.

Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Cops Dilbagh Singh stated, “Sad to inform that five brave personnel including Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood and sub-inspector of JKP Shakeel Qazi were martyred in the line of duty.”

Security forces had actually observed existence of some terrorists in the Rajwar forests in the Handwara location for the past couple of days and a quick exchange of fire had actually happened on Thursday deep inside the jungles.

Around Saturday afternoon, intelligence inputs suggested existence of the very same group of terrorists inside a house at Changimulla town, triggering Col Sharma to introduce a cordon-and-search operation together with his team and Qazi. After a substantial lull, Col Sharma and 4 other personnel barged into a house from a nearby cowshed presuming that the terrorists had actually been removed in the heavy shooting.

According to the authorities, the team came under heavy fire after saving the civilians and all interaction relate to Col Sharma and his team were snapped. Calls made on the mobile varieties of the team were addressed byterrorists The Army then hurried in para-troopers, who after establishing that the Army officer and his team were killed in the encounter, introduced an offensive by the first light of the day and killed the 2 terrorists.

On conclusion of the operations, the house was browsed early today and bodies of 2 terrorists removed in the encounter were recuperated together with arms and ammo. President Ram Nath Kovind, who is likewise the leader-in- chief of the militaries, commemorated the soldiers and security personnel and stated “…a grateful nation will always remember their supreme sacrifice. The entire country stands united in the fight against the forces of terror and evil. Thoughts and prayers with the families of martyrs.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, “Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten. They served the nation with utmost dedication and worked tirelessly to protect our citizens. Condolences to their families and friends.” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh explained it as “deeply disturbing and painful”.

Chief of Defence Personnel Gen Bipin Rawat stated the anti-terror operation highlighted the decision of the security forces to protect the lives of individuals of Kashmir. The Army, in a tweet, stated Chief of Army Personnel General M M Naravane and all ranks of the force commemorated the “valiant braves of our Army and JK Police for their supreme sacrifice while fighting and eliminating terrorists in Handwara.”

The death of Col Sharma and Major Sood, both from 21- RR, was an unfortunate suggestion of a comparable occurrence twenty years back when Commanding Officer of the batallion Colonel Rajinder Chauhan was killed by terrorists together with Brig B S Shergil in2000 The death of a colonel-rank officer was seen in the valley after 5 years. In 2015, the Army had actually lost 2 colonels in a year in Kashmir. Colonel M N Rai of 2/ 9 Gorkha Rifles, was the CO of 42 RR and laid down his life for the nation while battling militants in Tral in south Kashmir in January 2015.

The very same year, Col Santosh Mahadik was killed in an encounter in Kupwara. On the current operation, the Army stated that based upon the intelligence input that terrorists were hijacking some civilians in a house, a joint operation was introduced by the Army and the JK Cops. A team consisting of 5 Army and authorities personnel went into the target location inhabited by the terrorists to leave the civilians and effectively liberated them.

Nevertheless, throughout the procedure, the team came under a heavy volume of fire by the terrorists and in the taking place firefight the 5 personnel were killed, the Army stated. The terrorists are thought to have actually pertained to Handwara to get a penetrating group from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, authorities stated.

A wreath-laying event would be held tomorrow in Srinagar after which the bodies would be flown to their native locations where they will be cremated keeping the coronavirus safety procedures in mind.

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