April 2000 News

Top Pak Army officer shot dead in Rajouri

24 April 2000
Daily Excelsior

Rajouri: A top Pakistani army officer, suspected to be of the rank of Major, was killed in a fierce gun-battle with Special Operations Group (SOG) and Border Security Force (BSF) in Androla forests near Chingus in this district today morning. A senior police officer told EXCELSIOR that SOG teams from Khadarian post and jawans of 132 BSF had laid a cordon of Androla forests on Sunday evening after a group of four militants escaped to forests during an encounter with BSF jawans. Jawans of SOG and BSF intensified the searches with the onset of dawn. They came across a group of three militants, including one of their commander, and challenged them. A fierce gun-fight ensued as the militants were in possession of sophisticated weapons. In the encounter, which was being supervised by SSP Rajouri Parminder Singh and SP (Operations) Raghubir Singh, SOG and BSF personnel eliminated a top militant, who was later identified as a senior Pakistani army officer of the rank of Major. Two other militants, who were working as body-guards of the Pakistan army officer, managed to escape in the forests after their commander was shot dead by the security personnel. According to the police officers, security forces recovered a huge quantity of imported goods from the possession of slain Pak army Major. The goods include imported dry milk powder packets, imported biscuits, imported glucose, imported toilet papers and several other costlier imported items. Exact identity of the slain enemy officer hasnít been identified, official sources said but confirmed that he was a Major. Some documents recovered from the possession of slain officer clearly pointed out that he was a senior officer of Pakistan army. Sources said they had Intelligence reports that a Pakistan army officer had been pushed into Indian territory either in Rajouri or in Poonch district to assess the landing facilities for proposed air-dropping of arms and ammunition by Pakistan agencies. They didnít rule out the possibility of the Pak army officer having sneaked into this side for the same purpose and described his killing as a major setback to Pakistan and its sponsored militants. According to sources, some soldiers of Pakistan army had already been killed by troops and security forces in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch but this was for the first time that a senior Pak army officer has been shot dead (other than the LoC) in a face-to-face encounter with police and BSF. Yesterday, 132 battalion of BSF had gunned down a militant in same Androla forests. He had separated from the group of militants, which was trapped by SOG and BSF today in the same area. Sources said BSF and SOG have intensified searches in Androla forests and Chingus area to eliminate a couple of other militants, who managed to escape during the encounter. Possibility of they too being Pak army soldiers wasnít ruled out as they were working as body-guards of the slain Major. Meanwhile, there was no let up in Pakistan firing on the Line of Control in both Rajouri and Poonch districts. According to reports reaching here, Pakistan army continued to target Indian defence and civilian installations. Indian army returned the firing effectively. The exchange of firing continued throughout the last night. However, there was no casualty on Indian side but there were reports that Pakistan has suffered some casualties


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