Eight Afghan Infiltrators, One Jawan Killed In Gun-battle
1 August 2007
Srinagar: A day after Colonel Vasanth Venugopal was killed fighting a group of infiltrators from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector, the Army on Wednesday said that eight militants were killed in the 36-hour-long gun-battle which ensued after the group was challenged. One soldier was also killed and another injured. Giving details, defence spokesman Lt. Col. A.K. Mathur said eight Afghan militants were killed in the operation, which was one of the biggest in the area in recent months. He said that on noticing the movement of these infiltrators near the LoC in Uri, Col. Vasanth, Commanding Officer of the 9 Maratha Light Infantry, personally organised his command and ensured that every gap in the rugged and inaccessible terrain was covered with surveillance devices. 'In the early hours of Monday, he personally took command of a body of troops and moved swiftly to thwart the movement of the militants. He successfully intercepted them and fired upon them. They hid in the dense undergrowth. But he led his troops from the front,' the spokesman said. At daybreak on Tuesday, Col. Vasanth started engaging the militants and personally brought down one of them but was himself injured when another group opened fire at him. Regardless of his injuries and fire that was coming from the two sides towards his position, Col. Vasanth kept engaging them and gunned down two more. In the operation, which later continued till late on Wednesday evening, the eight militants were killed. They were heavily-armed and well-equipped with explosives, AK-47 rifles and communication equipment.