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Terrorists in Rajouri encounter were retired Pakistani soldiers

Source: ANI
November 24, 2023 18:00 IST
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Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, the general officer commanding-in-chief of Northern Command, on Friday said some of the terrorists who have crossed over into India from across the border are retired Pakistani soldiers.

IMAGE: Four fallen soldiers were accorded a tearful farewell in Jammu, November 24, 2023. Havaldar Majid was given a farewell in Poonch. Photograph: ANI Photo

Speaking to media-persons after paying his last tributes to five soldiers, including two Army captains, who lost their lives in the Rajouri firefight, Lt Gen Dwivedi said, "While we lost five of our brave soldiers in the encounter, we also eliminated two dreaded terrorists. Our boys went after the well-trained and equipped foreign terrorists without giving any thought to their personal safety. This (taking out the dreaded terrorists) has dealt a major blow to the terror ecosystem and Pakistan. As per our estimation, 20-25 terrorists could still be operating in the area. We should be able to control the situation in a year's time with the help of locals."


Lt Gen Dwivedi added that the terrorists were involved in the killing of innocent civilians in Dangri, Kandi and Rajouri and their elimination was a priority for the joint forces team involved in the operation.

"They may have received training in many countries, including Pakistan and Afghanistan. They were very well trained, which is why it took us some time to eliminate them. Our boys fought with courage. Lance Naik Sanjay Bisht had promised to eliminate them within seven days, and the statement given by Captain MV Pranjal's father in Bengaluru (about how the family was waiting to hear from him and, instead, received his mortal remains) will motivate our soldiers to discharge their salient duties against all odds," Lt Gen Dwivedi added.

He said since Poonch, in Rajouri district, is connected with the rest of the country through a highway, there is a high probability of more terrorists lurking there.

"In the last year, 10 civilians lost their lives to terrorist incidents here. The security forces are in high spirits. We received information about some terrorist hideouts through local sources. They were also involved in the Dangri attack. Some of the terrorists who have crossed over from across the LoC, have been identified as retired Pakistani soldiers," the Northern Command chief added.

Earlier, on Friday, a sombre wreath-laying ceremony was held for the army personnel who lost their lives in the fierce firefight in the thickly forested terrain in Kalakote in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The mortal remains of the four fallen soldiers -- Captain M V Pranjal, Captain Shubham Gupta, Lance Naik Sanjay Bisht and Paratrooper Sachin Laur -- were brought to Jammu where Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, along with senior officials, accorded a tearful farewell at the wreath-laying ceremony.

A similar send-off was given for Havildar Abdul Majid, in Poonch where he resided.

The encounter broke out between terrorists and a joint team of the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police in the Bajimaal area of Dharamsala.

While the forces suffered five casualties, two terrorists, including a top LeT commander and sniper identified as Quari, were also neutralised on Thursday.

The army informed further that it recovered large quantities of 'war like stores' from the encounter site.

Quari is believed to have orchestrated several attacks, including the Dangri incident, where six innocent civilians lost their lives on January 23, and the Kandi attacks in Rajouri's Poonch areas.

His elimination marks a significant blow to the revival of terrorism in these districts, according to an army official.

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Source: ANI
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