SRINAGAR, Aug 8: Four militants were killed and a soldier injured in an encounter in Rafiabad forests of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district today.
Army’s 32 RR and 9 Para Commandos along with Sopore Police launched a search operation in the forests of upper reaches of Rafiabad three days ago. The operation was launched after inputs about presence of militants in the forests of the area.
The militant group that was spotted this morning was challenged by the security forces and the militants fired at the troops, leading to an encounter in which a Commando of Army’s 9 Para, Naresh Chander Bhutt, was injured. He was immediately evacuated to nearby MI Room where from he was later airlifted to 92-Base hospital at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar.
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Four militants were killed in the encounter and their identity and group affiliation is being ascertained. The militant group was believed to have infiltrated recently through Uri sector. The terrain is difficult and it was raining in the area which hampered the operation. The operation is going on as the security forces are searching for more militants in the forest area.
SSP, Sopore, Javaid Iqbal said here that the operation was launched by Army and Police three days ago after specific inputs about presence of the militant group in the forest area. “We had reports of militant movement from the area for long but three days back there was a specific input and we launched the operation”, he said.
The SSP said that in the morning there was contact with the group and operation is on. He said it is not yet clear whether the group had recently infiltrated or it was already there in the forests.
Srinagar based Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here that an encounter which broke out this morning at Lidder, Panzalla area of Rafiabad is still going on. He said that so far four militants were killed in the ongoing operation.
“Lt Gen AK Bhatt, GOC, Chinar Corps compliments Kilo Force, Special Forces (SF) and 32 RR soldiers for killing four militants in the ongoing operations in the forests of Rafiabad. The security forces team was specially inserted in the area of operations and have done an excellent job by neutralising these militants and thwarting their nefarious designs,” the spokesman said.
And Army paid tributes to four soldiers who were killed during counter infiltration operations in Gurez sector yesterday.
“In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen AK Bhatt, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks, paid homage to the martyrs on behalf of a proud nation. Representatives from other security agencies also joined in to pay their last respects,” the Defence spokesperson said.
“Late Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane of Thane, Maharashtra, Rifleman Hameer Singh of Uttar Kashi, Uttarakhand, Rifleman Mandeep Singh Rawat of Kotdwar, Uttarakhand and Gunner Vikram Jeet Singh of Ambala, Haryana sustained bullet injuries during the fierce operation in Kanzalwan, Gurez of Bandipora district. They were provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but succumbed to their injuries”, the spokesperson said.
He said the mortal remains of the martyrs were flown for last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours.
“In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their dignity and well being,” the spokesperson said.
In the meantime, police arrested an Over Ground Worker of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind militant outfit in Sheeri area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district today.
Irfan Ahmad Ganaie, son of Muhammad Ramzan Ganaie, a resident of Hajam Mohallla, Rathsuna, Tral was arrested when he was heading to Uri at Sheeri.
Police said that the security forces were acting on specific information that Ganaie was on way to Uri to undertake militant action. “Multiple checkpoints were laid by the Police and the forces in the area and the individual was apprehended carrying a live hand grenade in Sheeri area on Baramulla-Uri road,” police said.
“His mobile phone was also seized. The preliminary investigation into the matter revealed his affiliation with Gazwat-ul-Hind.”
Police said a case FIR No 39/2018 under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been registered in police station Sheeri. “Further investigation into the matter is going on,” police added.
A Police spokesman said that last evening a joint party of security forces apprehended a militant identified as Abdul Majid Shah son of Ghulam Mohammad Shah resident of Iqbal Colony Pattan Baramulla. He said that the militant was travelling in a car bearing registration number DL9CM0213 and was on way to meet other militants active in the area. “On his personal search, arms and ammunition and other incriminating material was recovered. During questioning, he revealed that he is in touch with the other terrorists of the area who are planning future terror strikes”, police said.
“In this regard, a case FIR No 133/2018 under Section 7/25 Arms act has been registered in police station Awantipora. Further investigation is going on”, the spokesman added.