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3 Jaish men killed in Pulwama

Army jawans stand guard near encounter site in Pinglan area of Pulwama district south Kashmir on Monday, February 18, 2019. Four Army men, including a Major, and a civilian have been killed in an ongoing encounter in south Kashmir's Pulwama on Monday morning.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

An Army Major and three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were among the nine persons killed in an 18-hour gun battle in Pulwama’s Pinglena area on Monday, just four days after 40 CRPF jawans lost their lives in a suicide car-bomb attack in the region. The dead included three other Army personnel, a policeman and a civilian.

A brigadier and a Deputy Inspector-General were among nine injured.

Among the three slain JeM terrorists was Kamran, a Pakistani, who took over as operational commander of Jaish after the killing of Mufti Waqas last year. Police said he might have played a role in the February 14 suicide blast at Pulwama’s Lethpora. “Kamran’s role is being probed,” said a police officer. The other two slain terrorists were identified as Hilal Ahmad from Pulwama, who joined the JeM in 2017, and a Pakistani, whose identity could not be ascertained immediately.

Four weapons and ammunition were recovered from the site. Four houses, including one in which the terrorists were holed up, caught fire in the operation and were damaged.

The Army personnel, including Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal of 55 Rashtriya Rifles, were killed in “indiscriminate fire” from the terrorists at the beginning of the pre-dawn operation. The others were havildar Sheo Ram, sepoy Ajay Kumar and sepoy Hari Singh.

Policeman Abdul Rasheed, a personal security officer of DIG Amit Kumar, sustained bullet injuries and later died of the wounds in a hospital. A civilian, Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, died of bullet wounds at the encounter site, said the police.

DIG Kumar, Brigadier Harbir Singh, another Army officer and a police sub-inspector were among the injured. “They were shifted to Army’s 92 Base Hospital with bullet injuries. They are undergoing treatment for bullet wounds,” an official said.

The Monday operation was the first joint exercise of security agencies against the JeM, which is recruiting locals. The encounter site was less than 15 km from Lethpora, where a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy on Thursday.

Major Dhoundiyal (33) killed in Monday’s operation joined the Army in 2011 and was from Dangwal in Dehradun, Uttrakhand. He is survived by his wife. Havildar Sheo Ram (36) joined the Army in 2000 and hailed from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. He is survived by his wife and a son.

Sepoy Hari Singh (26) hailed from Rajgarh of Rewari, Haryana and joined the Army in 2011. He is survived by his wife and a son.

Sepoy Ajay Kumar (27) was from Bastikri in Meerut, U.P. and joined the Army in 2012. He is survived by his wife and a son.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 6:40:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/4-soldiers-civilian-killed-in-pulwama-encounter/article26301325.ece

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