Two Indian Army officers and a police officer were killed in an encounter with terrorists in Garol forests in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday.
The officers who were injured and later succumbed to their injuries at army’s base hospital have been identified as Colonel Manpreet Singh, who was commanding 19 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, Major Ashish Dhonchack of 19 RR and deputy superintendent of Police, Humayun Muzamil Bhat, who was recently posted in the area.
This is the most fatal attack on the forces in the Valley this year despite the number of attacks or encounters in the Valley having come down in recent months.
Officials said that a joint operation was launched by army’s Rashtriya Rifles and police on a specific information on the intervening night of September 12-13 in Garol, Anantnag.
“Based on specific intelligence on presence of terrorists a Joint Operation was launched by #IndianArmy & JmuKmrPolice on the intervening night of 12-13 Sep in Area Garol, Anantnag. Contact established and firefight ensued. Two Army personnel and one J&K Police personnel injured. Operation in,” tweeted Army on its official handle on Wednesday morning.
Sources, however said it could have been an ambush and there are reports that three to four well trained militants could have been involved in this attack.
As the joint teams were approaching towards the militant hideout after the midnight they (forces) came under fire from the militants resulting injuries to officers and jawans.
After the injuries to three officers, fresh reinforcements were rushed to the area which is located in the upper forests belt of Kokernag in Anantnag district and the forest was sealed. “It’s a village in the dense forests and militants had been in the village when tiffoff was received about their presence in the village and operation was launched last night. The operation is still underway,” said an officer.
In May this year in a similar attack, three soldiers — Havaldar Babulal Haritwal, Signalman Vala Mahipalsinh Pravinsinh and Rifleman Waseem Sarwar were killed in Halan forests in Kulgam district. The operation was launched on specific inputs regarding the presence of terrorists on the higher reaches of Halan forests in Kulgam. The militants believed to be foreigners are still at large.
J&K Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps, Lt General Rajiv Ghai and additional director general of police, Vijay Kumar rushed to the encounter spot on hearing about the injuries caused to three senior officers in the operation. The officers were shifted to Army’s base hospital in Srinagar where they succumbed.
Falcon squad of The Resistance Front (TR claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on social media and said the attack was the revenge for the killing of Mohammad Riyaz of Poonch who was recently killed in Rawalakote in PoJK. Source
#ColonelManpreetSingh, #MajorAshishDhonchack, #DySPHumayunMuzamilBhat, #FalconSquadOfTheResistanceFront