Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes and expressed condolences to families of five security personnel martyred in an encounter with terrorists at a village in north Kashmir's Handwara area on Sunday. In counter-terror operation, an Army Colonel and a Major were among five martyred, the Indian Army said.
On Twitter, PM Modi hailed the valour and sacrifice of those brave jawans who "served the nation with utmost dedication and worked tirelessly to protect our citizens".
Tributes to our courageous soldiers and security personnel martyred in Handwara. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten. They served the nation with utmost dedication and worked tirelessly to protect our citizens. Condolences to their families and friends.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 3, 2020
A team comprising of five Army and JK Police personnel entered the target area occupied by the terrorists to evacuate the civilians and extricated the civilians, the statement said. Two terrorists were eliminated and the team of five security forces personnel comprising of two Army officers, two Army soldiers and one JK Police Sub Inspector attained martyrdom. Top Lashkar-e Taiba commander Haider from Pakistan has been killed in Handwara encounter, reported news agency ANI quoting IG Kashmir Vijay Kumar.
Paying his tribute to the martyrs, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said: "I offer my tributes to the soldiers and security personnel who fell in action. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved ones today. India stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of these brave martyrs. The loss of our soldiers and security personnel in Handwara(J&K) is deeply disturbing and painful. They showed exemplary courage in their fight against the terrorists and made supreme sacrifice while serving the country. We will never forget their bravery and sacrifice."