India

Tamil Nadu soldier among four killed in Rajouri

Security personnel stand guard near the encounter site after a suicide attack bid at an Army camp in the Darhal area of Rajouri, J&K on August 11, 2022.

Security personnel stand guard near the encounter site after a suicide attack bid at an Army camp in the Darhal area of Rajouri, J&K on August 11, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Two ‘fidayeen’ militants and four soldiers were killed during a pre-dawn bid by the militants to storm an Army camp in the Pir Panjal valley’s Rajouri district on Thursday morning. Two soldiers were also injured during the encounter.  

“In the early hours of August 11, alert sentries of the Indian Army post at Parghal, Rajouri, detected suspicious persons approaching their post taking advantage of the inclement weather and dense foliage. The sentries challenged the two terrorists who threw grenade while attempting to gain entry inside the post,” Defence spokesman Lt. Colonel Devender Anand said.

The Army said the alert troops cordoned off the area and engaged the terrorists in a firefight, thereby pinning them. “In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were neutralised,” Lt. Col. Anand said.

However, four soldiers of the Indian Army also lost their lives during the operation while two were injured. The deceased soldiers were identified as Subedar Rajendra Prasad from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu, Rifleman Lakshmanan D. from Tamil Nadu’s Madurai, Rifleman Manoj Kumar from Haryana’s Faridabad and Rifleman Nishant Malik from Haryana’s Hisar.

Rajouri, home to dense forests, is close to the Line of Control (LoC). The attack took place around 26 km away from the district headquarters in Darhal tehsil. 

Subedar Rajendra Prasad, Rifleman Manoj Kumar, Rifleman D. Lakshmanan and Rifleman Nishant Malik who lost their lives during a militant attack on an Army camp near Rajouri, J&K on August 11, 2022. 

Subedar Rajendra Prasad, Rifleman Manoj Kumar, Rifleman D. Lakshmanan and Rifleman Nishant Malik who lost their lives during a militant attack on an Army camp near Rajouri, J&K on August 11, 2022.  | Photo Credit: PTI

The Army camp that came under attack had its perimeters secured by barbed wire and iron poles. Official sources said the ‘fidayeens’ first hurled a grenade at the entry post and then made their way into the camp.

Once a peaceful area, Rajouri saw an uptick in militant attacks since the reading down of Article 370 in 2019. Three Lashkar-e-Taiba modules were busted in Rajouri in July this year. These modules were behind multiple grenade attacks and received arms dropped by drones from across the LoC.

Meanwhile, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha strongly condemned “the despicable terrorist attack”. “Heartfelt condolences to the families of the bravehearts martyred in the attack. We shall deal with evil designs of terrorists and their backers in a befitting manner,” L-G Sinha said.

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack. “Very sorry to hear about the death in the line of duty of three soldiers following a militant attack in Rajouri. While condemning the attack I send my condolences to the families and my prayers for the swift recovery of those officers and jawans injured in the attack,” Mr. Abdullah said.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 2:06:11 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/two-fidayeen-militants-killed-in-jk-encounter/article65756716.ece