Lieutenant general BS Raju, Commander of Srinagar based 15 Corps, has highlighted how the army fought back hard and showed a lot of grit and valour during the fight against the terrorists who had infiltrated into India. The Indian Army neutralised five terrorists in an encounter in the Keran area of Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Sunday.
Describing the attack and the steps taken to neutralise the terrorists, ANI quoted him as saying, "As this column was approaching the target area, one of the terrorists, who probably was a guide, started to return back towards the LC and he was neutralised immediately," he said.
Lt Gen Raju said that the special forces, who were approaching the target area, were traversing an extremely challenging terrain in very high snow levels and over extremely steep slopes. He said the special forces were able to neutralise the remaining four terrorists. "In this operation, we were able to recover 5 AK-47 rifles along with its ammunition, two pistols, satellite radio communication equipment, VHF equipment along with a large quantity of administrative stores," he said.
The Army commander went on to add that the soldiers of the Indian Army were martyred in defence of the nation and paid his tributes for their sacrifice. "I would also like to take this opportunity on all behalf of all ranks of Chinar Corps to pay my tribute to these five men and their families and the sacrifice they have made is in the true spirit and highest traditions of Indian Army. I would like to assure countrymen that while you are busy fighting COVID, we deployed along LOC will guard it and allow no mischief by Pakistan," he said.
"The continuous pursuit led to the neutralization of five hard-core terrorists. We remain committed in our resolve to guard our border and also ensure zero infiltration," he added.
The encounter occurred in Shalbatoo Jumgund area after the militants from Pakistan crossed over to India's side of the line of control. Five soldiers of the elite 4 Parachute unit engaged the infiltrators at point-blank range amidst heavy snow, neutralising the entire batch before succumbing to injuries in the fierce combat.
The elite soldiers were airdropped near the LoC as a part of the Keran operation, which began on April 1 upon receiving information that Pakistan is pushing terrorists infected with COVID-19 in India to weaken its battle against the pandemic.
As per sources, a group of terrorists crossed LoC during the night of April 1 along the Gulab Post in Keran Sector. However, they were blocked by a patrolling party of 8 JAT regiment deployed in Shalbutoo Jumgund. After the initial exchange of fire, the terrorists managed to take shelter in the dense forests.
However, a massive search operation was launched with additional reinforcement of elite 4-Para soldiers. On Saturday evening during searches by 8 JAT and 4 Para, a contact was established again. A heavy exchange of fire continued throughout the night during which five militants were killed.
Five soldiers of the army who sources say belonged to the special forces laid down their lives while fighting these terrorists in close combat. The bodies and the terrorists and the mortal remains of five soldiers were found at the distance of one-two meters from each other