Wahid Bhat | Srinagar
Five soldiers, including a colonel, a major, a police officer, have been martyred in an encounter between security forces and terrorists in Chanjimullah Rajwar area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. For last 3 days, two terrorists have also killed in the ongoing operation of the security forces. One of the martyrs is also an officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Police. These soldiers were martyred in an attempt to save the general public from the terrorists hiding in a house.
“Based on the intelligence input that militants were taking the civilian inmates of a house in Changimul, Handwara of Kupwara district hostage, a joint operation was launched by Army and JK Police on 02 May 2020,”army’s Srinagar based spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia in a statement issued here said.
A team comprising of five Army and JK Police personnel entered the target area occupied by the militants to evacuate the civilians, the spokesman said.
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Army officers Col Ashutosh Sharma and Major Anuj, and Jammu and Kashmir Police Sub-Inspector Shakeel Qazi were among the deceased, as per the inputs received.
“The team of Army and JK Police entered the target area, and successfully extricated the civilians. However, during the process, the team was subjected to heavy volume of fire by the militants,” the spokesman said. In the ensuing fire fight, two militants were eliminated and the team of five Security Forces Personnel comprising of two Army officers, two Army soldiers and one JK Police Sub Inspector attained martyrdom in the service to the Nation,” the spokesman added.
The encounter began on Saturday afternoon after intelligence was received by Army and Jammu and Kashmir police about the presence of terrorists in the forests of Rajwar. The terrorists emerged and hid inside a house. However, the civilians residing in the house were safely evacuated.
This is the second time in a month when army personnel have been trapped in Kashmir. Earlier, on 5 April, five special forces personnel were killed in Kashmir after which cross border firing between India and Pakistan intensified. The development took place on a day when the armed forces are planning to celebrate the ‘war’ against COVID-19 by placing flowers at hospitals throughout the country.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to the soldiers and security personnel who lost their lives in an encounter at Handwara and said India stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of these brave martyrs and will never forget their bravery and sacrifice.
”The loss of our soldiers and security personnel in Handwara(J&K) is deeply disturbing and painful. They showed exemplary courage in their fight against the terrorists and made supreme sacrifice while serving the country. We will never forget their bravery and sacrifice,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tweeted.
Offering his tributes to the soldiers and security personnel who fell in action, Rajnath Singh said ,”My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones today. India stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of these brave martyrs.”
According to Intelligence Agencies Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is planning to carry out a major terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir, zee news reported. According to the report, Jaish is conspiring to launch a ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) attack on the security forces in the valley on May 11.
Reports claimed that the Jaish is feeling the pressure due to the continuous action by security forces in Kashmir Valley and the banned terror group is looking for an opportunity to hit back. It is to be noted that a total of 28 terrorists were killed by security forces in April only.