Live updates | Third JeM terrorist gunned down in Pulwama encounter; four soldiers, policeman also killed

Army personnel stand guard during a curfew, imposed after clashes between two communities over the protest against the Pulwama terror attack. File Photo.

Army personnel stand guard during a curfew, imposed after clashes between two communities over the protest against the Pulwama terror attack. File Photo.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Encounter started at 12:50 a.m. on Monday at Pinglena in Pulwama and was led by the Army

Four days after the deadly attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Kashmir on February 14, an encounter broke out on Sunday night at Pinglena area of Pulwama and it is still on.

(On Thursday last, a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a bus of a CRPF convoy near Awantipora on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Pulwama, resulting in the death of the jawans.)

Here are the latest updates:

7:50 pm

Three Jaish terrorists, Army Major killed

Three Jaish terrorists, including a Pakistani commander of the group linked to the February 14 CRPF bombing, and an Army major were among nine people killed in a 16-hour encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Monday, officials said.

At least nine security personnel, including a brigade commander and a lieutenant colonel and a deputy inspector general of the Jammu and Kashmir police, were injured in the gun battle in Pulwama's Pinglan area, about 12 km from where a suicide bomber belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed drove his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus last week, killing 40 jawans.

The Pinglan encounter claimed the lives four Army personnel, a policeman, three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists and a civilian, the officials said.  PTI

7:30 pm

Amarinder says India wants Pulwama revenge 'now'

Asserting that the entire country was "fed up" with the senseless killings of Indian soldiers in Kashmir, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday called for coercive action against Pakistan, which, he suggested, could be military, diplomatic or economic, or a combination of all the three.

Calling for the death of two "of them" for every Indian soldier killed in Pulwama attack, Mr. Singh said it's clear that the Pakistan Army was calling the shots, with Prime Minister Imran Khan also a "plant" of the military.

"We should get 82 of them since 41 of our men have been killed," the Chief Minister asserted, demanding an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

"India wants it now," he said.

"No one is asking anyone to go to war, but these killings of soldiers are not a joke. Something has to be done. I'm fed up, the country is fed up," he said, according to an official release issued in Chandigarh.

The chief minister said the Indian government should take "whatever measures" are required and "we will support them."

"Pakistan can't hold India to ransom just because they are a nuclear nation, even we are nuclear," he said, asserting that Indian forces had defeated them during the 1999 Kargil war in spite of their nuclear capability.

There is palpable anger across the country after the killing of CRPF jawans by a Jaish suicide bomber in Pulwama, he said.

"If they [Pak-backed terrorists] kill our soldiers, we have to do something," he said. PTI

6:50 pm

Third Jaish terrorist has been killed in Pulwama encounter, PTI reports

6:30 pm

Civilian dies

A civilian, identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, who was injured in the firing, has passed away.

"He later succumbed to his injuries," said an official giving the details about the civilian.

Two to three militants are believed to be hiding in the area. "Firing, which stopped for a while, has resumed," said an official.

5:30 pm

Another Major from Uttarakhand killed in J&K

Even as the last rites of Major Chitresh Bisht were still underway in Haridwar on Monday, Uttarakhand received the news of another brave soldier -- Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal -- attaining martyrdom in an encounter with terrorists in Pulwama in Jammu Kashmir. Major Dhoundiyal, a resident of Dehradun, was among four Army men killed in an encounter with JeM terrorists in Pulwama district just a short distance away from the spot where 40 CRPF personnel were killed recently in a suicide attack by the outfit.

3.30 pm

Cross-LoC bus service suspended in Poonch

The weekly Poonch-Rawalakot cross-LoC (Line of Control) bus service is in view of the prevailing law and order situation in Jammu following the terror attack on a CRPF convoy, Poonch District Development Commissioner Rahul Yadav tells PTI.

Curfew was imposed in Jammu city on Friday last following massive anti-Pakistan protests and sporadic incidents of violence over the car bombing the previous day.

The passengers were accordingly informed well in time about the suspension of the service, says Mr. Yadav.

3.20 pm

Two JeM militants killed

Two JeM militants are killed. They are identified as Kamran, a Pakistani, and Hilal, a local. Their affiliations are being ascertained. Arms and ammunition recovered.

Hurriyat leader Abbas Ansari asks the police to withdraw his security forthwith. "Will no more provide them accommodation at my residence," he says.

3.05 pm

Fresh firing

A Lieutenant Colonel and two other Armymen are injured in fresh firing in the ongoing encounter.

Citizens are requested not to venture to the encounter site as it is a prohibited zone, tweet the police.

 

“The terrorists are believed to be linked to the February 14 car bombing,” a defence official says.

Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal, a resident of Dehradun, was among four Army men killed in an encounter with JeM terrorists in Pulwama district just a short distance away from the spot where 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expresses grief over the martyrdom of Major Dhoundiyal, saying the entire country stands with the martyr’s family.

2.50 pm

Pulwama attack shows time for talks over: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the Pulwama terror attack has shown that time for talks is over and hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging the menace.

Without naming Pakistan, Mr. Modi, after holding delegation-level talks with Argentine President Mauricio Macri in New Delhi, said the world should unite to take concrete action against terrorism and those who support it.

After the talks, the two sides signed ten agreements in diverse areas like defence, nuclear energy, tourism, information and communication technology, and agriculture.

“I and President Macri agree with the view that terrorism is a serious danger to world’s peace and stability. The cruel attack in Pulwama shows that the time for talks has passed.

“Now, it is required that the world unites against terrorism and those who support it. Hesitation to take action against terrorism and those who support it is akin to encouraging terrorism,” Mr. Modi said in a press statement in the presence of Mr. Marci. — PTI

2.00 pm

Top JeM terrorist dead

Army sources say a top JeM terrorist is killed but refuse to identify who it is, reports our correspondent Dinakar Peri.

“He is a category-A terrorist of JeM. However, operation is still on and it is still not clear who it is,” one officer says.

The JeM has stopped naming their top leadership after a series of targeted operations by the Army in the recent past, he says.

11.45 am

Bodies of militants recovered

Bodies of two slain militants were retrieved from the encounter site, says Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Amit Kumar.

"Weapons and warlike stores recovered. The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants are being ascertained. Search is on in the area to find out if there are any more militants," he adds.

10:05 am

 

Two to three militants are believed to be hiding in the area. "Firing, which stopped for a while, has resumed," says an official. The place of encounter is just 15 km away from the explosion site at Lethpora.

10:00 am

Four Armymen, including a Major, and a civilian are killed in the ongoing encounter.

The slain Armymen aree identified as Major D.S. Dhoundiyal, Head Constable Sava Ram and Sepoys Ajay Kumar and Hari Singh. However, the Army has not confirmed any casualty officially. One injured soldier, Gulzar Muhammad, has been evacuated to Army's 92 Base Hospital Badamibagh in Srinagar.

"A civilian, identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, was injured in the firing and he later died of his injuries," an official says.

Read more
 

9:30 am

Encounter started at 12.50 a.m. at Pinglena. The CRPF and the Jammu and Kashmir police are also part of the operation.

9:00 am

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Pinglan area during the night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the area, a police official tells PTI. He says that as the forces are conducting searches, the militants opened fire at them, triggering a gun battle.

(With inputs from our Correspondents Peerzada Ashiq, Vijaita Singh and news agencies)

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 4:19:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/live-updates-encounter-in-jammu-and-kashmirs-pulwama-several-dead/article26301206.ece

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