Five unidentified militants and an equal number of soldiers were killed as the Indian Army foiled an infiltration bid by terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
A defense spokesperson said in a statement issued Monday, “Indian Army launched a daring operation at the Line of Control and engaged Pakistan supported infiltrators in a close quarter battle in heavy snow, neutralizing the entire infiltrating batch of five. Four soldiers under the command of a Junior Commissioned Officer from elite Para units were heli dropped near the LoC after information on the infiltrators was received. An intense hand to hand battle ensued and all five terrorists were eliminated,” the statement said.
It added, “Army lost five of its soldiers, three on the site and two more succumbed while they were airlifted to a nearby military hospital.”
The Indian Army squad was led by Subedar Sanjeev Kumar and included Havildar Davendra Singh, Paratrooper Bal Krishan, Paratrooper Amit Kumar and Paratrooper Chhatrapal Singh. While paying tribute to the martyrs, “Indian Army salutes the brave hearts killed in action and shall continue to protect its borders from inimical forces at all costs at all times,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, three families from South Kashmir have approached J&K police, claiming that their kins are among five terrorists killed in a gunfight in the snowbound woods of Kupwara. The families, two from the Shopian district and another one from the Kulgam are said to have reached Kupwara, demanding handing over of the bodies for performing the last rites. However, police said that it was premature to comment as the identification process would be done once the bodies are handed over to them by the Army.
Pertinently, on Saturday evening, the Army had rushed elite paratroopers to Rangdoori, Guguldara and Teen Behak area of Jumgund in Kupwara. Sources said that firing continued throughout the night, reaching peak wee hours of Sunday. The operation was launched initially by the Army’s 8 JAT after intercepting a group of militants on Wednesday. Besides, they said, the searches continued along the Safawali, Kumkadi, Zurhuma, Batpora, Awaoora and Haihama areas by the joint team of the Army’s 41 and 57 Rashtriya Rifles, 160 Territorial Army and J&K police.
With COVID-19 pandemic spreading chaos everywhere, the Pakistan Army is trying to take advantage of the crisis and push militants into J&K. In recent days, several attempts were made by the infiltrators with the Pakistani Army giving them covering fire along the LoC in to enter the Indian side.