Major among 4 Army men, 2 militants killed in Gurez
Srinagar, Aug 07: An Army major and three soldiers were killed while foiling an infiltration bid in north Kashmir’s Gurez sector, officials said on Tuesday. At least two militants were killed in the operation, they said.
The encounter between the Army’s patrolling party and the infiltrating group took place at Losar Nallah in Gurez sector of Bandipora district.
Slain Major was identified as K P Rane, as three other soldiers were hawaldars Jamie Singh and Vikramjeet and Mandeep, a rifleman. The post that is closer to the spot of encounter is manned by personnel from 36-RR.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar confirmed the encounter.
Reports from Army and the Police suggest that it was an 8-member group of militants who were attempting to infiltrate. When they were challenged, four of them returned and the encounter started. Army said they killed two militants and the two were still fighting with the soldiers. Defence spokesman has told reporters that the reinforcement have been rushed to the spot.
Police said they have no confirmation if any of the four slain soldiers’ bodies have been recovered so far. Defence sources have said they can easily see the bodies of the two slain infiltrators.
Gurez is one of the comparatively peaceful belts straddling the LoC. However, it had series of occasions when the infiltrators chose this track and were caught or killed.
Earlier in the day, Government of India said that 69 militants had infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir from across the border till June this year.
There were 133 attempts of infiltration by militants from across the border and there were 69 net infiltrations, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Ahir said till June this year, 14 militants were killed while 50 others were returned from border.
A total of 123 militants could enter Jammu and Kashmir following 406 infiltration attempts from across the border in 2017.
“As per reports, some locals have been found supporting militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Appropriate action under law is taken against such persons. Security forces have been tackling militancy successfully and as a result 694 militants have been neutralized and 368 militants or suspects have also been apprehended since 2014 to July, 2018,” he said.
The minister said there were 308 incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir till July this year in which 113 militants were killed in 90 encounters. Altogether 49 forces personnel were also killed this year so far.
In 2017, till July, there were 191 incidents of violence in which 112 militants were killed in 69 encounters. As many as 39 forces personnel were also killed.
Ahir also said there were 73 incidents of violence during the period of suspension of operation in the month of Ramadhan in comparison to 34 such incidents during the previous month.
A total of 23 militants, eight forces personnel and three civilians were killed during the Ramadhan ceasefire, while 14 militants, five forces personnel and eight civilians were killed in the previous month.
Replying to another question, the minister said the government was aware about the use of social media by the militants in Jammu and Kashmir and the law enforcement agencies monitor the web and social media and take appropriate action as per the law.
LeT claims responsibility
Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba Tuesday claimed the responsibility of the infiltration bid and subsequent killing of Army personnel in Gurez sector of J&K.
“Earlier today a fierce battle took place at Gurez between a handful of our militants and thousands of Indian Army troops. Militants inflicted heavy casualties on the Indian Army…the Indian Army itself has accepted that an Officer of the rank of Major and three soldiers were killed, however our Post Battle Assessment reports suggest that 12-16 Indian troops including 2 ranking Officers were killed during the face off,” claimed the LeT spokesman in an emailed statement to The Kashmir Monitor