Soldier Dies In Pak Firing In Rajouri, Four Militants Killed In Kashmir

23 November 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: An Army jawan was killed after Pakistani troops violated the truce pact along the Line of Control in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district this morning, while four militants were eliminated in two separate encounters across Kashmir. However, the Army, which took more than seven hours to officially react to the Nowshera incident, stated that during early morning hours an Army patrol was fired upon either by terrorists or inimical elements close to the LoC in forward areas of the Nowshera sector. The incident took place around 7.30 this morning. 'Indian troops retaliated appropriately. In the ensuing firefight, a soldier was injured who succumbed to his injuries while being evacuated to Military Hospital. Search operations are in progress,' said a defence spokesperson. The deceased has been identified as Sepoy Subinesh from Calicut in Kerala. Rajouri is some 150 km northwest of Jammu. It is the first Army casualty along the LoC after the Indian and Pakistani armies held Brigade Commander-level flag meeting on September 21 at Chakan da Bagh to de-escalate tension on the border. A militant was killed in an operation in Hajinakah village of Kupwara district of the Kashmir region today where intermittent firing amidst a search operation was still on in the area, around 120 km from Srinagar. Two or three more militants are believed to be hiding in the area. 'The slain militant is most probably a foreign militant. At least two or three more militants are believed to be hiding in the area and the intermittent firing is still on,' said Aijaz Bhat, Superintendent of Police, Kupwara. 'Besides, a combing operation in Manigah and in villages adjoining Hajinakah is also on to track down the militants hiding in the forest area,' he added. The slain militant's body is yet to be lifted from Hajinakah, police sources said. Lt Colonel KS Natt of 160 Territorial Army, who was critically injured in the gunfight in Hajinakah last evening, was airlifted to Delhi for advanced treatment, sources added. A combing operation jointly carried out by the Army, police and the Special Operations Group of the police has been going on for the past 11 days in the Manigah area of Kupwara. The search operation was intensified and later extended to the adjoining Hajinakah village two days after Col Santosh Mahadik, 38, was killed in an operation in Manigah on November 17. In a separate incident, three Hizbul Mujahideen operatives were killed in a brief gunfight with security forces in the Siligam area of Anantnag district, some 65 km south of Srinagar. Intelligence inputs on the presence of militants in the area had been pouring in for quite some time, sources said. The area was cordoned off about 2 pm today and soon contact was established with militants in the Tantraypora locality of the Siligam area. 'Militants tried to break the cordon by firing on us. The fire was retaliated and during the brief exchange of fire, three militants were killed,' said an Army officer. The police have recovered two AK-47 rifles, one under-barrel grenade launcher and a pistol from the slain trio. The police said the killing of these militants was a substantial setback to the Hizb in the area. 'All three of them belonged to Burhan Wani's (the Hizb commander from the Tral area of Pulwama) group. They had been recruited less than a year ago and remained active in Anantnag district and its peripheries,' said a police official. The slain militants have been identified as Adil Shiekh of the Shiekh Mohalla area in Bijbehara town of Anantnag district, Tanveer Ahmad Bhat of Baba Mohalla locality of Bijbehara and Sartaj Ahmad Lone of Wopzan village on the outskirts of Bijbehara town.