An Army Captain was killed and five security personnel, including four Rashtriya Rifles soldiers and a policeman, injured in an encounter with militants in the Tral area of Pulwama district, about 40 km from Srinagar on Thursday.
Captain Deepak Kumar of 42 Rashtriya Rifles is the second Army officer to be killed in a gun battle with militants in the Valley in less than a fortnight. He was working with the Corps of Signals since 2006 and had volunteered to join the Rashtriya Rifles last year. Army sources said Capt Kumar was to get married next month and had already applied for leave.
The operation in Mir Mohalla, Dadsara, which was suspended on Wednesday night because of darkness and inclement weather, resumed on Thursday morning when militants fired a volley of bullets at a search party. A fierce gun battle ensued.
Security forces have recovered the bodies of three of the four Hizbul Mujahideen militants who were holed up in two houses of the locality. They have been identified as Midha, Shabir and Khalid. Midha and Shabir were top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen in South Kashmir and had been active in the area since the past 15 years. They were involved in many killings and had also attacked a police party last month.
“We have killed all the four militants,'' said Kamal Sehni, DIG, South Kashmir. “The encounter is not over yet. Search is on for the fourth body,” he said.
A joint team of the J&K Police, CRPF and Rashtriya Rifles is conducting the operation.