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3 terrorists gunned down in encounter in Kashmir; major, 4 personnel killed

Last updated on: February 19, 2019 08:15 IST

One of the terrorists was under the scanner for his role in the CRPF convoy attack.

Three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, including 'Kamran', who was suspected to be linked to the February 14 terror attack on the Central Reserve Police Force convoy, were killed in a fierce 16-hour encounter, in which an army major and four security forces personnel lost their lives in south Kashmir on Monday, February 18.

The bloody gun battle left a civilian dead in the crossfire, besides injuries to a brigadier, Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir) Amit Kumar, a lieutenant colonel, a major and four other ranks of the army unit which conducted the operation in the Pinglan area of Pulwama district, 12 km from Thursday's attack on CRPF personnel which left 41 jawans dead.

The Jammu and Kashmir police was on the lookout for Kamran, the so-called Jaish-e-Mohammed 'divisional commander' for Pulwama, Tral and Awantipora areas of south Kashmir after a suicide bomber belonging to the terror group drove his explosives-laden vehicle and detonated himself near a CRPF bus last week.

Kamran, a Pakistani national, and Hilal Ahmad, a local recruited by Jaish, were killed in Monday's operation while the identity of a third terrorist is being ascertained.

 

The slain soldiers were identified as Major Vibhuti Dhaundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram and Sepoys Hari Singh and Ajay Kumar. A police head constable was also killed.

Officials said inputs were received from the police about the presence of Jaish terrorists in the area.

Immediately, a cordon-and-search operation was initiated and a house-to-house search was conducted in the area.

As the process was going on, terrorists fired at the army party that resulted in the death of the major and other personnel early on Monday.

Thereafter, security forces concentrated on the house from where the firing was coming and killed Kamran and Hilal.

As the mopping up exercise continued, a third terrorist started firing, resulting in injuries to other personnel.

The third terrorist -- who is yet to be identified -- continued to move from house to house and continued firing that resulted in injuries to the brigadier, DIG and another major.

The army paid tributes to the fallen soldiers at a solemn ceremony at the Badami Bagh Cantonment, headquarters of the 15 Corps in Srinagar.

Corps Commander Lieutenant General K J S Dhillon led other ranks in paying homage to the four soldiers who laid down their lives in the operation.

The slain personnel

Major Vibhuti Dhaundiyal, 33, joined the India Army in 2011 and belonged to Dangwal village in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He is survived by his wife.

Havaldar Ram, 36, joined the army in 2000 and hailed from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. He is survived by his wife and son.

Sepoy Singh, 26, belonged to Rewari, Haryana. He joined the army in 2011 and is survived by his wife and son.

Sepoy Kumar hailed from Bastikri village in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. The 27 year old joined the army in 2012 and is survived by his wife and a son.

 

Photographs: S Irfan/PTI Photos, Umar Ganie for Rediff.com
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