JCO, Militant Killed In Handwara Encounter

28 October 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Army and a militant were killed in an ongoing fierce gun battle in North Kashmir's Kupwara district today and more troops were rushed to the area. A defence spokesman said here that based on specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in Waderbala forests near village Petta in Handwara area of Kupwara district a joint operation was launched by Rashtriya Rifles units of Army and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police last night. The spokesman said that the area was effectively cordoned preventing escape of militants. 'As the noose was tightened in the morning hours, the terrorist hiding in the area opened heavy volume of fire. Thus, the contact was established in the early hours of October 28, fire continued for some time resulting into killing of the terrorist. The identity of the terrorist is yet to be established', the spokesman added. The spokesman said that a JCO of Army was injured. 'He was evacuated from the site but latter succumbed to his injuries making supreme sacrifice in the line of duty', the spokesman added. Sources said that the security forces had information about the presence of 3-4 militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in the forest area of Wudur Bala. They said that 21 RR, 30 RR, 32 RR, 6 RR, 9 para of Army, 92 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched an operation against them. Sources said that one militant and a JCO was killed in the encounter. They, however, said that militant's body has not been retrieved yet and operation is still going on. They said that troops of 52 RR, 22 RR, 14 RR and 27 RR have been rushed for the outer cordon so that the militants may not escape. 'The heavy rains and cold is hampering the operation', they added. It is the same area where a solider of 30 RR of Army was killed on October 13 when militants fired at a patrol of 30 and 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) at Muldari forests in Handwara in Wudurbala. Sources said that the security forces were after these militants for last several months. These militants are of LeT and have been operating in the area since early this year. An army officer said that Army and Police killed 9 militants in last two months in the hinterland in joint operations and Army killed 10 infiltrators along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir.