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Kashmir encounter continues for 48 hours: 3 officers martyred, 1 soldier reported missing

A intense confrontation erupted in the early hours of Wednesday when a collaborative operation by the army and police was initiated to track and apprehend terrorists in the Kokernag region

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- September 15th 2023 08:47 AM -- Updated: September 15th 2023 08:53 AM
Kashmir encounter continues for 48 hours: 3 officers martyred, 1 soldier reported missing

Kashmir encounter continues for 48 hours: 3 officers martyred, 1 soldier reported missing

Kashmir encounter: In a relentless encounter spanning more than 48 hours, an army soldier is reported missing, while two others have sustained injuries during a fierce standoff with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district. The harrowing battle commenced in the early hours of Wednesday when a joint operation by the army and local police was initiated to flush out terrorists concealed within the dense Kokernag forests.

Tragically, three brave officers, including two from the army and one from the police force, lost their lives in the line of duty on that fateful day, while no information is available regarding the terrorists' casualties.

This protracted anti-terrorism operation has seen the deployment of state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced technology, such as the strike-capable Heron drones, by the security forces.

The Joint Operation

The collaborative effort between the Indian Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police was set into motion on the night of September 12-13, as they cordoned off Garol village in pursuit of terrorists. As the search unfolded, it became evident that the terrorists had taken refuge in the remote heights of the thick forest.

Colonel Manpreet Singh, an esteemed officer leading the search team, and Major Aashish Dhonchak navigated through the intricate terrain and dense foliage of the forest. Around noon, they encountered a hail of gunfire from the terrorists, prompting a fierce exchange of fire.

Tragically, Colonel Singh, Major Dhonchak, and Deputy Superintendent (DySP) Himanyun Bhat sustained gunshot wounds during the confrontation and eventually succumbed to their injuries.

The Bravehearts

Colonel Manpreet Singh, a recipient of the Sena Medal (Gallantry), served as the Commanding Officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles Unit (19 RR), while Major Aashish Dhonchak, also a Sena Medal (Gallantry) awardee, held the position of company commander within the 19 RR. Himanyun Muzamil Bhat was a dedicated Deputy Superintendent (DySP) in the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

In a somber ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha paid his respects to the fallen army officers in Srinagar, commemorating their unwavering dedication and sacrifice.

The Indian Army has undertaken a specialized operation in the challenging Kokernag terrain to retrieve the bodies of these valiant officers. Their remains will be transported to their respective hometowns via a special aircraft, honoring their indomitable spirit and service to the nation.

- With inputs from agencies

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