JCO Killed, Jawan Injured; Militants Flee Back

JCO Killed, Jawan Injured; Militants Flee Back

18 May 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) was killed while a soldier was injured as Army today foiled a major infiltration bid by militants in Macchil sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Srinagar based Defence spokesman, Naresh Kumar said that the troops of 56-Rashtriya Rifles noticed some suspicious movement of 4-5 persons along the LoC in Macchil sector at around 2:30 a.m. and challenged them. The militants, who were trying to sneak into the Valley from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), opened fire on the Army positions including on Dingeri Post, which was retaliated by the Army. The spokesman said that the militants crossed the LoC fence when Army challenged them. However, militants fled back under the cover of darkness. “A JCO identified as Arun Kumar was killed while a soldier Solanki Raju was injured in the gun battle”, the spokesman added. “The militants fled back to the PoK as Army foiled their attempt to sneak in”, the spokesman said adding that militants left behind two assault rifles and some war-like stores before fleeing. The spokesman said that massive search operation was launched in the area along LoC to ensure that no militant has sneaked in. This is for the second time this month that Army has encountered a group of heavily armed militants near the LoC. An Army patrol party encountered a group of at least six highly trained militants in Budnal forests in Chowkibal area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district on May 7. However, the militants managed to give a slip to the Army in dense forests after a brief gun battle. Army launched a massive operation along the LoC after reports of militants using snow covered mountain passes for infiltration in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Army’s 4 Para, 6-11 GR, 16 Grenadiers, 41 RR, 4 Komaon and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police were rushed in and operation was launched. Security forces fanned the entire forest area to prevent the militant group from escaping from the cordoned area. Army also used helicopters for surveillance and air dropping of troops at vantage points inside the forests. But the militants were not traced; however, hunt to trace them is going on. Sources said that the infiltration along the LoC in Kupwara district has taken place despite inputs to the Army that the militants might try to infiltrate from first week of May when the mountain passes are still closed with snow. Army along the LoC started repairing the damaged LoC fence as a pre-emptive measure in April but the groups have used snow covered mountains in freak weather to infiltrate. The security agencies apprehend increased infiltration this year after number of militants in Kashmir valley declined following successful operations by the security forces over the last couple of years. Sources said that around 800 highly trained militants are waiting at the launch pads across the LoC ready to infiltrate. “They are trying to infiltrate from all the sectors”, sources added.