Soldier killed as army sustains first casualty after freeze in operations against militants
This is the first army casualty after government announced to halt operations against militants during Ramzan.Updated: May 28, 2018 22:25 IST
A soldier was killed and three others injured in two separate militant attacks on the army in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts in the last 24 hours. This is the first army casualty after the government announced to halt operations against militants during Ramzan.
A civilian was also killed in the exchange of firing between militants and forces.
On Sunday night, militants attacked the army camp of 50 Rashtriya Rifles at Kakapora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Army said in the attack one soldier identified as Vikram Singh was injured. He later succumbed to his injuries in the Base hospital.
In the exchange of firing, a civilian Bashir Ahmad Gania was also killed. Gania, a driver by profession, was travelling in his cab along with his brother when he was killed. Police said 26-year-old Gania was killed in the exchange of firing between militants and the forces. Militants, however, managed to escape from the spot under the cover of darkness.
Army spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia termed the attack as a provocative act of terror. “In a standoff attack on Kakapora army camp one soldier lost his life,’’ he said.
Hundreds of villagers participated in the funeral of Gania who was buried in his native village amid chanting of pro-freedom slogans on Monday. Fearing protests over civilian killing authorities suspended mobile internet in Pulwama district.
In neighbouring Shopian district, militants triggered an Improvised Electronic Device (IED) close to army’s CASPER – Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV). In the attack, three armymen including an officer, sustained injuries. The CASPER vehicle also got damaged. After the attack, army and the police launched a search operation in the area to track the militants, but couldn’t trace the attackers.
“Militants had planted an IED near the water tank on Turkwangam road near Zainpora and triggered the explosion when an army vehicle was passing through the area. The vehicle suffered the damages due to the blast and the three jawans inside the vehicle were also injured,’’ a police spokesman said.
Last week during his visit to Kashmir, army chief Bipin Rawat had hinted that suspension of operations could be extended. “There is peaceful atmosphere right now, according to my view, the people here are very happy with that. If this continues and peace prevails, then we can say for sure that we can think of continuing NICO (non-initiation of combat operations) in future days. But if there is any action from terrorists, then we will have to rethink this move,’’ General Rawat had said.
First Published: May 28, 2018 22:10 IST