4 Army Men, Militant Killed In Kupwara Gun Battles

5 October 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Four Army personnel and a militant was killed in two separate gun battles in Kupwara district today while security forces launched massive searches against infiltrators in North Kashmir. Army's 6 RR had launched large scale searches at Tilpatren forest area, near the Line of Control (LoC), in North Kashmir's Handwara area following inputs about the movement of a militant in the area since last few days. Last evening Army intercepted a group of militants in dense bushy forest area. On seeing the advancing Army party they opened heavy fire on them. The Army returned the firing triggering of a gun battle. In the fierce gunfight, four Army men were killed. They have been identified as Sepoy Surinder, Sepoy Buta Satyam, Lance Naik Gurdev Singh and Sepoy Surindera. The bodies of the Army personnel were recovered this morning after the search of the area was conducted. The Army along with the additional reinforcement launched massive searches to track down the militant group hiding inside the dense bushes which has big boulders and give natural cover to the militants. The Aarmy has also pressed helicopters into service to trace out the hiding militants. The reinforcement include Army's 21RR, 30RR, 32RR and Commandos from 9 Para. Reports said that it was freshly infiltrated group of militants which had infiltrated three days ago from the Handwara area of LoC. In another encounter at Darpora forest area in Lolab in the frontier district of Kupwara, a militant was killed. The militant has been identified as LeT commander Usman Tada of Pakistan. He was active in the area from last 2-years. The encounter started between militants and Army's 28 RR and 9 Para at around 11:30 pm last night. Security forces had received information about presence of three militants in the area when the operation was launched. The search operation was going on in the area when last reports came in. DIG North Kashmir Garib Dass told Excelsior: 'Militants ambushed an Army patrol in North Kashmir's Hafrooda forest last evening leading to a gun battle in which four Army personnel were killed.' We had received information about movement of a group of militants in the area and Army patrol was ambushed by them. Four Army personnel were killed whose bodies were recovered this morning during searches of the area. We have now launched a major operation in the forest area against the militants responsible for the killing of Army men', Dass said. One militant was killed in another gunbattle in North Kashmir's Lolab forests today. 'We had information about presence of two militants in Dardpora forest area and launched an operation during which one militant was shot dead', said Dass. Srinagar based Defence spokesperson said that based on specific information regarding presence of some militants in Hafruda forest of Rajwar, a joint operation was launched by the Army and JKP last evening. 'Around midnight, as the forces approached the suspected area where the militants were reportedly hiding, they came under a heavy volume of fire. In the intense encounter that ensued, four Army soldiers were killed,' the spokesman said. 'In another encounter in Krusan, Lolab one militant was killed after Army cordoned off the suspected area following a tip off', the spokesman said. The spokesman further said: 'The areas of both encounters have been cordoned off with additional troops inducted and combing operations are continuing.' In the meantime, Army has launched a massive operation in Gulmarg sector after reports that a militant group has managed to infiltrate into the area through Uri sector few days ago. Army's 30 RR and Special Operations Group has launched searches in Mawar area of Handwara in district Kupwara after they received information about presence of militants in the area. Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, today expressed grief over the killing of four Army personnel in an encounter with the militants in Hafruda forests of Handwara, in the North Kashmir's district of Kupwara. In his message of condolence, Mufti Sayeed expressed sympathies with the bereaved families of the soldiers and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls.