Indian Army today gunned down three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, including two Pakistani commanders of the group linked to the February 14 CRPF bombing, in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district. The encounter, which went on for over 16-hours, also claimed the life of an Army Major and four other security personnel.
Here are the 10 points on Pulwama counter-attack:
1) Three Jaish terrorists were killed in a joint operation between Indian Army , CRPF and J&K Police in Pulwama's Pinglan area. The terrorists have been identified as Kamran, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi and Hilal Ahmad. Kamran and Ghazi were under the scanner of investigators for the February 14 suicide bombing of the CRPF convoy, which killed 40 jawans. Ahmad was a local recruited by the pakistan-based terror outfit.
2) Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area during the Sunday night after receiving inputs about the presence of terrorists there. Terrorists fired at forces as the searches got underway, triggering a gun battle, the officials said. Earlier, sources had told India TV that security forces had traced the location of Pulwama terror attack mastermind to the forests of Pulwama.
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3) The 16-hour encounter also claimed the lives of an Army Major, three other armymen, a police constable and one civillian. The slain soldiers were identified as Major VS Dhondial, Havaldar Sheo Ram and Sepoys Hari Singh and Ajay Kumar. The civilian who died was identified as Mushtaq Ahmad. The slain constable, Abdul Rashid, was Amit Kumar's Personal Security Officer (PSO).
4) The spokesperson said the 33-year-old Major had joined Army in 2011 and belonged to village Dangwal in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He is survived by wife. Havaldar Ram (36) had joined Army in 2000 and hailed from Jhunjhunu. Rajasthan. He is survived by wife and a son. Sepoy Singh (26) belonged to Rewari in Haryana. He joined the Army in 2011 and is survived by his wife and son. Sepoy Kumar hailed from village Bastikri in Meerut, UP. The 27-year-old had joined the Army in 2012 and is survived by his wife and a son. Their mortal remains were flown for the last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours.
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5) 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. The injured included DIG (south Kashmir) Amit Kumar, who received a gunshot wound in the abdomen, and a brigade commander, who was hurt in the leg. All the injured are stable, the officials said.
6) According to news agency IANS, when the security forces recovered the bodies of the militants and were carrying out searches in the area when some terrorists hiding in a cowshed suddenly opened fire, injuring nine security personnel. A fourth terrorist was still firing, the police officials told news agency.
7) As the fighting raged, civilians poured out of their homes in nearby areas and pelted stones at the security personnel in a bid to help the militants escape. The security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. "Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since it is a prohibited zone and can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials," an official said. "People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any."
8) The Army paid tributes to the fallen soldiers at a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment, headquarters of the 15 Corps. Corps Commander Lt Gen K J S Dhillon led other ranks in paying homage to the four soldiers including Major Dhondial, who laid down their lives in the operation, a defence spokesperson said. Representatives from other security agencies also joined in paying their last respects to the soldiers. In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their dignity and well being, the spokesperson said.
9) The site of the encounter, Pinglan, was 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.
10) The Jaish has claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack that targeted a convoy of 78 vehicles on its way from Jammu to Srinagar. About 2,500 CRPF personnel were on their way to the valley, many returning to work after leave.
(With inputs from agencies)