Colonel, Soldier, 5 Ultras Killed In Valley
31 July 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Army foiled yet another infiltration attempt in the Uri sector by eliminating all the four sneaking terrorists. In the gunbattle, a Commanding Officer (CO) and a Lance Naik of 9 Infantry were also killed and a Lance Havildar severely injured. This apart, an unidentified militant was killed in encounter with the security forces in the frontier district of Kupwara while as arms and ammunition were recovered from a hide-out. A Defence Ministry spokesman said that troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) noticed a group of militants sneaking into this side from Pakistan occupied Kashmir near Ghodetal, about 15 kms from Uri, under the cover of darkness, late last night. Commanding Officer of 9 Maratha Light Infantry Colonel Vasant V, along with reinforcement rushed to the area to personnely supervise the operation. He said immediately troops occupied dominating positions and prevented the heavily armed militants to escape in the dense forest. Heavy firefight ensued in which Colonel Vasanth personally lead the operation against the militants. Displaying courage and operational acumen, Col Vasanth poised himself and his party to block the escape routes of entrapped militants. Though wounded, he moved swiftly closer to the hiding place of militants. With little care for his personal safety, the Commanding Officer, leading from the front, gunned down the entrapped militants. Spokesman said in a point blank face-to-face exchange of heavy volume of fire, Colonel Vasanth, Lance Naik Bachav Shahkant Ganapat and Lance Havildar Ramanna R B were injured. Three to four militants were killed, he said. Col Vasanth and Lance Naik Bachav Shahkant Ganapat succumbed to injuries in hospital. This was the second infiltration attempt in the sector since Defence Minister A K Antony visited forward areas in Kashmir last Saturday. Seven infiltrators and their families were arrested by the troops immediately after they sneaked into this side on Saturday. Officials said about 50 infiltrators were killed by the troops near the LoC after they crossed over to this side from PoK since January this year. About one hundred others, including their family members, surrendered before the security forces on their return from PoK during the past two years. Meanwhile, an unidentified militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in frontier district of Kupwara. Acting on specific information, police assisted by troops of 30 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) launched a search operation in the jungles of Monabal this morning, the spokesman said. He said a call given to them to surrender, on observing suspicious movements, went unheeded. Instead troops were fired upon and in the ensuing encounter which continued for four hours, an unidentified militant was killed. The search operation in the area continued till this evening, the spokesman said. He informed that police recovered one AK 56 rifle, four AK magazines, 145 rounds of ammunition, an anti- personnel mine and a cleaning rod at Badivoder area in the day. Meanwhile, Rajpora Police has arrested a HM activist and recovered some ammunition from his possession. According to SHO Rajpora, Inspector Javed Yatoo, acting on specific information Police laid a 'Naka' at Putrigam Rajpora and during frisking arrested a HM activist identified as Latief Ahmed Bhat, S-o Sonaullah Bhat, R-o Putrigam Rajpora. He said that one magazine and 160 rounds of ammunition were recovered from his possession.