A few days ago, news broke out about a large group of terrorists getting spotted in the villages of Handwara of Kashmir. Indian Army has been conducting massive search operations since then. On 2nd May, the troops surrounded some houses on the account of a report of terrorists hiding inside them.
The lethal operation by the security forces in the Valley lasted 12 hours, it managed to kill two terrorists, reported the Indian Army.
In the same deadly operation, an Indian army colonel, a major and two soldiers, along with a Jammu and Kashmir Police sub-inspector, were martyred on Saturday.
According to an intelligence report, some of the civilians were taken as hostages by the terrorists, following which a team consisting 5 Army Personnel and a J&K officer reached the area and rescued the civilians. While saving the civilians they got killed by the heavy fire that erupted there.
News agency ANI quoted Vijay Kumar, inspector general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, as saying that a top Lashkar-e Taiba terrorist, identified as Haider, a Pakistani national, was killed in the operation too.
According to the Intelligence agency report, further actions had been taken that referred to terrorists having taken civilians hostage in a house in Handwara’s Changimulla.
A team comprising five army personnel and a J&K Police officer reached the hijacked area and successfully managed to evacuate the civilians. However, the security team came under heavy fire and in the ensuing firefight, all were attained martyrdom, along with two terrorists were killed.
The army colonel Ashutosh Sharma who lost his life in the operation was the commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles’ 21st Battalion and his sacrifice is seen creating a roar to the morale of the forces. He was a decorated officer, honoured twice with gallantry in counter-terrorist operations.
The Honourable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh paid their condolences to the martyrs.
PM Modi tweeted,” Tributes to our courageous soldiers and security personnel martyred in Handwara. 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 also condoled the deaths on Twitter. He wrote, “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.”
Jammu and Kashmir former Chief Minister also tweeted to pay his tribute to the martyred soldiers.
The Indian Air Force in a gesture of solidarity honoured the dead personnel through their tweet, “Indian Air Force pays tribute to the brave security personnel of the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police, who were martyred in action on 2 May in J&K. We Salute the Bravehearts of India.”
After many years, a commanding officer has lost his life in an encounter in Kashmir. But many soldiers have died last month. The Intelligence reports are suggesting a violent year for Kashmir.