5 Militants, 4 Troopers Killed31 March 2010
Rajouri: Five militants and four troopers were killed in the 30-hour fierce encounters in Rajouri district, which ended on Wednesday afternoon with nine casualties. Reports said acting on a tip-off the troopers of Rashtriya Rifles and police had launched a cordon-and-search operation in Planakanthol-Lambibari forests in Kandi and Kalakote areas simultaneously on Tuesday. However, the militants present there had opened indiscriminate fire on the troopers triggering a fierce encounter. In the ensuing gun battle that continued overnight, five militants and three troopers were killed, officials said. The Additional SP Rajouri Muhammad Shabir said the operation was called off today afternoon. “We have killed all the militants and ascertained their identity. The combing operation of the forests has also ended,” the SP said. He identified the slain militants as Abu Qitaal, Chota Osama, Abu Shoib and Abu Abdullah all belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit and residents of Pakistan. Meanwhile, an unidentified militant and an army trooper were killed in another encounter in Bagla area under the jurisdiction of Dharma’s Police Station. The slain troopers killed in the encounters were identified as Hawaldar Chatter Singh, Naik Sher Khan, Sepoy Raam Prasad and Hawaldar Surjit Singh. Army claimed to have recovered arms and ammunition and electronic navigation equipments from the slain militants. An Army spokesman in a statement said the troopers had launched the operation following inputs of fresh infiltration. Pertinently two troopers and a Station House Officer (SHO) were injured during the gunfight at Kakakote.