JCO, Infiltrator Killed In Nowgam; Toll 7

3 December 2014
The Daily Excelsior


Srinagar: Army today killed last surviving militant of yesterday's infiltration bid, foiled in Nowgam sector near the Line of Control (LoC), bringing the total number of infiltrators killed in the encounter to 6 while a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) was also killed and 4 soldiers including an army Major were injured in the 36 hour long gun battle. Meanwhile, militants this evening lobbed a grenade at Central Reserve Police (CRPF) patrol in Pahoo area of Pulwama killing an Assistant Sub-Inspector of 183rd battalion of CRPF and injuring three CRPF men, two police men and three civilians. Police said that militants lobbed a grenade on a vehicle of paramilitary CRPF at Pohu Bridge in Pulwama. They also fired at the CRPF in which 8 people including three CRPF men, two police and three civilians injured. The injured CRPF men were identified as Inspector Uttam Chand, ASI Shamsheer Singh, Constable Muhammad Iqbal and Swinder Gosh. The injured policemen were identified as Manzoor Ahmad and Zakir Hussain. The injured civilians were identified as Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Manzoor Ahmad Mir and Gulzar Ahmad Wagay, all residents of Pohu. The injured CRPF ASI, Shamsheer Singh, who was critically injured in the attack, succumbed to injuries at Pulwama Hospital. Senior police and CRPF officers rushed to the spot to assess the situation. The area was cordoned off and searches were conducted, however, no one was arrested. Army today recovered three grenades from village Panjaran in Lassipora area of district Pulwama that were aimed at disrupting the poll process. Sources said that based on a specific information 55 RR army party led by Major Rahul Narang recovered three grenades from during searches in the village. Army had information about presence of militants in the area when the launched searches. Pulwama is going to polls on December 9 in the third phase of polls along with Budgam and Baramulla. And a senior army officer told Excelsior that one militant was killed today in an encounter in Nowgam sector ending the 36 hours long gun battle. He said that the militant was part of the six members group of militants who infiltrated into Nowgam sector previous night. The officer said that one JCO was also killed and four army personnel including a Major were injured during the operation. He said that the injured have been shifted to Srinagar and condition of the Major is serious. The officer said that six heavily armed militants infiltrated through Nowgam sector, also called Tut Mari Gali sector, previous night and the army noticed their movement and launched an operation against them. Sources said that one group of three militants was killed in Nowgam sector yesterday morning after overnight gun battle and another group fled towards Bangus valley. Army immediately launched an operation against these three militants in Bangus and killed two of them last evening. The gun battle against the third one was going on throughout the night and he was killed this morning. A defence spokesman said here that the relentless operations of the Army following the detection of the infiltrating group of heavily armed militants across the Shamshabari Ridge in the Tut Mari Gali Sector resulted in the elimination of three more militants bringing the total to six militants eliminated since the start of the operation. 'The encounter between the Army and the group of infiltrating terrorists which commenced on the night of 1st December entered its third day today. After the elimination of three terrorists on the first night itself, the operations were continued relentlessly in the extreme harsh conditions and high altitude terrain of the Shamshabari Ridge resulting in the elimination of three more terrorists on the second day. In the tough conditions of high altitude, snow and adverse weather, the army personnel braved all the odds to eliminate the terrorists', the spokesman said. The spokesman said: 'One Junior Commissioned Officer, Sub Ajay Vardhan made the supreme sacrifice. The valiant martyr was the first to detect the movement of the terrorists and took immediate action by leading small team and initiating the initial contact with the terrorists. While closing in the JCO and his team came under intense fire from the terrorists but with utter disregard to his own safety the JCO charged up and eliminated the terrorists, in the process he came under a hail of bullets and was grievously wounded and succumbed to his injuries during evacuation.' The spokesman said that six AK rifles, one pistol and a large quantity of warlike stores were recovered from the dead militants. 'The Army is continuing the operation in the area to search out any terrorists who may be hiding or attempting to escape', he added. This is the first infiltration bid that was foiled after the snowfall along the LoC last month. The over 400 kilometre long LoC in Kashmir valley from Gulmarg to Gurez received 4-7 feet of snow last month creating a natural hurdle for infiltration. However, these infiltrators had used sophisticated equipment to infiltrate through snow.