Army officer among 4 killed in line of duty; 3 terrorists shot dead in J&K encounter
Three terrorists were killed during a major infiltration bid on the Line of Control in the faceoff at Machil sector in the frontier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir.
Officials said that three army soldiers and a BSF constable were also killed in the action against the infiltrators who tried to sneak-in in the dead of night through the LoC.
The infiltrators were first spotted by an ambush party of BSF’s 169 Bn at around 1:00 am.
“The BSF party observed movement of a militants’ group infiltrating through the Line of Control in Machil Sector, Kupwara. On challenging the intruders, they opened fire which was retaliated by the party. In the fierce exchange of fire, one terrorist was shot dead immediately and others managed to hide behind the cover of undulating terrain,” said a BSF spokesman.
An AK 47 rifle and two bags were recovered from the first of the three terrorists killed.
The spokesperson said that at the same time Pakistan posts started ceasefire violations to aid the infiltrating terrorists.
“During the gunfight one BSF jawan, Sudip Kumar, received bullets. With utter disregard to his personal safety he kept on fighting and ultimately attained the martyrdom,” he said.
Kumar, 38, was a constable with BSF 169 Bn and a resident of Tripura.
Meanwhile, army reinforcement arrived from the nearby forward posts and a joint operation was further started.
Army PRO Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the BSF had noticed the suspicious movement near the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System (or LoC fence) some 3.5 km from the LoC.
He said that the initial firefight between terrorists and the BSF stopped at 4:00 am when more troops were rushed to the area.
“Terrorists movement was tracked by surveillance devices. Contact was re-established at 10:20 am when heavy fire was drawn by our search parties approximately 1.5 km from the LoC. In the ensuing firefight, two more terrorists were killed,” Kalia said.
The colonel said that three army soldiers were killed in action and two wounded. “The injured soldiers have been evacuated to a medical facility,” he said.
While the army was yet to reveal the details of those personnel who died in the line of duty, sources said that an officer was among the dead.
The operation was going on till this report was being filed.
On October 24, the army shot down a quadcopter along the Line of Control in the Keran sector in the Kupwara district. This was the first time when the quadcopter was shot down by the army in the sector.
The LoC in north Kashmir this year witnessed a lot of action between the troops of India and Pakistan in Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts.
On October 7, the army had said that Pakistan opened fire in what they said was an unprovoked ceasefire violation in Uri sector of Baramulla. On October 1, the Indian army had lost two soldiers in a ceasefire violation from the Pakistan side in Kupwara district.
India and Pakistan, who have fought at-least three wars since 1947, had agreed in 2003 to maintain peace along the border, but violations intensified after bilateral relations plummeted in 2016. India often accuses Pak of violating the ceasefire to give cover to infiltrating terrorists.
This year the army said that their forces have been able to stop three-fourth of infiltration of terrorists through the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir as compared to last year.
Lt Gen B S Raju , GOC of army’s strategic Chinar Corps, on October 10 said that the forces have been able to stop infiltration to a great extent. “Last year around 130 persons had infiltrated and this year the figure is below 30. Such is the change. And I hope this will also lead to improvement in the internal situation,” he had said.
The GOC had said that a few hundred militants were ready on the launch pads across the LoC. “As per our intelligence, around 250-300 terrorists are ready on launch pads on the Pakistan side to infiltrate. We have been able to stop them despite their efforts to infiltrate,” he had said.