‘6-day-long Keran Encounter Ends Inconclusively’

‘6-day-long Keran Encounter Ends Inconclusively’

30 September 2013
Kashmir Watch


Srinagar: The bodies of 15 militants which were lying on Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Keran Sector since last week, have been reportedly taken back by intruders from Pakistani side raising serious concern from intelligence agencies regarding the failure from Indian Army’s side in retrieving the militants’ bodies. The militants were killed in an operation after Army claimed to have foiled a major infiltration bid on September 24. The operation, which according to sources, ended on Sunday last evening left 4 soldiers injured. Official sources told GNS that since a week long operation, no militant body was retrieved due to timely firing from other side. In the meantime, sources maintained that all the militants were killed in the operation and their bodies were taken back by a heavily armed group of militants who reportedly also occupied 3 Indian Observation pickets by crossing about 3 kilometers into this side. Security agencies have raised queries regarding the recovery of militant bodies in Keran operation and killing of a 60-year-old man in Macchill operation in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, official sources said. They held concerns over the failure of Indian Army to recover the bodies of militants. “The questions over Indian Army not being able to retrieve at least a single militant body and the killing of 60-year-old person in Macchill Sector on Sep 23 were raised by security agencies,” sources told GNS. Sources said that after an hour-long fresh firing near Shalbhatu in Keran Sector, the militants managed to escape before injuring four troopers of 3-3-GR, putting an end to 6-day-long fierce encounter. The injured soldiers were identified as havaldar T.B. Roka, rifleman Youg Bahadur, rifleman Tejinder KC and rifleman Tula Ram. All the injured were immediately airlifted to Army’s 92 Base Hospital here in Srinagar. Pertinently, on September 28, confirmed sources revealed that three observation pickets situated at high altitude area of Shalbhutu near LoC in Keran sector have been occupied by militants. The pickets, according to sources were being used by 20-Kamaw unit of army which was recently replaced by 3-3-GR Unit. However, senior Army official had declined to comment on the militants’ occupying of three observation pickets in Keran Sector.