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Gun battle claims lives of 4 Army men, 2 militants gunned down

Army jawans in action during a search for militants in Bandipora district. File   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

Four soldiers, including a Major, and two militants were killed in a gunfight sparked by a large group of infiltrators that tried to breach the Line of Control (LoC) and enter the Kashmir Valley in the Gurez Sector of Bandipora on Monday night.

A Defence Ministry spokesman in Srinagar said the Army foiled the bid. “Two militants were killed. A Major and three soldiers also lost their lives. The operation is on,” he said.

The incident took place at Bakhtoor, over 125 km from Srinagar. Sources said at least six to nine heavily armed militants constituted the group that tried to infiltrate into the Valley. “The Army pushed them back [into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir],” a police officer said.

The operation was continuing to locate the bodies of the militants that fell into a ravine.

“There were ceasefire violations [by Pakistan] in the area,” said Bandipora Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary. Sources said the Pakistani Army targeted a few places along the LoC during the night “to give cover to the infiltrators.”

The deceased soldiers, who belonged to 36 Rashtriya Rifles, were identified as Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane, Grenadier Vikram Jeet Singh and Riflemen Hameer Singh and Mandeep Singh Rawat.

In New Delhi, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir informed Parliament that 69 militants had infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir till June this year, and there had been 133 attempts of infiltration. “Fourteen militants were killed, while 50 others were returned from the border.”

Farooq seeks inquiry

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the National Conference said party president and MP Farooq Abdullah met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday and “sought an impartial inquiry into the circumstances leading to the unfortunate death of a young man during a security breach” at his Bhatandi Jammu residence on Saturday. The intruder, Murad Ali Shah, 25, had been shot dead by CRPF personnel when he entered the house.

“The family of the deceased needs to be apprised about the circumstances leading to the unfortunate death,” Dr. Abdullah was quoted as saying.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 8:20:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/four-army-men-two-militants-killed-in-jk-gunbattle/article24621318.ece

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