Soldier, SPO Killed; 2 Army Men, Civilian Injured In Kunzar

2 April 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Srinagar: A soldier and a Special Police Officer (SPO) were killed and two Army men and a civilian were injured during a gun battle in Tangmarg area of North Kashmir's Baramulla district this morning while the militant group managed to flee from the cordon. Army's 29 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police this morning launched a joint operation in village Hardshoora Sultanpora in Kunzar in Baramulla district after they received specific information about the presence of three militants in a house. As the troops were conducting searches they were fired upon by the militants from the house in which they were hiding. Three Army personnel, one SPO and a civilian were injured in the firing. The troops retaliated but the militants managed to flee the cordon. The injured Nagraj Jageshwar, Naik Jagjeet Singh and Mandeep Kumar of 29 RR were shifted to Army's 92 base hospital here and SOG man Mohammad Shafi Dar was shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar. However, Jageshwar and the SPO succumbed to injuries. The injured civilian identified as Manzoor Ahmad Rather has been shifted to Srinagar for treatment. The Army and police continued its searches of the village after the brief gun fight. More troops were also rushed to the area to track the militants responsible for the killing of two security men. The surrounding villages were also cordoned off and search for the militants was launched. Later the search operation was called off. However, in the evening Army's 2 RR launched fresh searches in several villages in Kunzar area including Lalpora village to track the militant group. Sources said that security forces had information about the presence of Fayaz Ahmad Waeloo of Kunzar, Ashfaq Ahmad of Palhalan and a foreigner inside the village. Fayaz is from the same area and has joined militancy last year. They are believed to be with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). A police spokesman said here that on a specific information Baramulla Police, 29 RR, and 176 battalion of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in village Hardshoora, Sultanpora this morning. 'The militants present in the village fired upon the search party that was retaliated cautiously to avoid any collateral damages. Four persons including a policeman, two Armymen and a civilian were injured in the initial shoot out. The injured were shifted to the hospitals', the spokesman added. The spokesman said that an Army man, Naagar of 29 RR, and SPO Mohammad Shafi succumbed to their injuries and gave supreme sacrifice of their lives. A civilian Manzoor Ahmed Rather has been hospitalized and is stable. The militants managed to escape and the search operation has been called off. An Army spokesman said here that based on the specific information about presence of militants at Hardespora, Baramulla District, joint operation was launched by Army's Rashtriya rifle unit and SOG Pattan at approximately 7.30 a.m. 'The contact was established between Army and the terrorists at 7.50 am. As the noose was being tightened, terrorists opened heavy volume of fire causing injuries to two soldiers and a JKP person. One Army soldier Gunner Jageshwar of 29 Rashtriya Rifles and one JKP person Constable Mohammad Shafi who were critically injured, succumbed to their injuries and attained martyrdom in the line of duty. Gunner Jageshwar was enrolled in Army on June 20, 2005 and had volunteered to serve Rashtriya Rifle unit. The other Army soldier is stable and undergoing a treatment in Base hospital Srinagar', the spokesman said. 'Once the firing subsided, the houses were searched. However, by then the terrorists had moved out of the house. Tracking dogs were pressed into action and the pursuit was launched. Operation is still in progress as per last reports', the spokesman said. In the meantime, a wreath laying ceremony was held at District Police Line, Baramulla for the SPO Mohammad Shafi. 'Paying homage to the martyr, officers of all ranks laid wreaths at the mortal remains of SPO Mohammad Shafi. An Army man Naagar of 29 RR also gave supreme sacrifice of his life in this encounter. Jawans and Officers of police, civil administration and CRPF, and colleagues of the martyr were present on this occasion and paid their respect', a police spokesman said here.