Soldier missing in counterterror operation underway in J&K’s Anantnag
A manhunt is currently on for the group the terrorists responsible for the ambush-style killings of the three men, the officials said
One soldier is unaccounted for in the counterterror operation underway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district where two army officers and a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) were killed in a gunfight on Wednesday, officials aware of the matter said on Friday.
A manhunt is currently on for the group the terrorists responsible for the ambush-style killings of the three men, the officials said.
The security forces have cast a wide net for the elusive terrorists holed up in the Garol forest in Anantnag, with elite counter-terrorist squads (including men from the Special Forces) hunting for the perpetrators.
Colonel Manpreet Singh, the commanding officer of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Aashish Dhonchak, also from the same battalion, and DSP Humayun Muzamil Bhat were killed in the gunfight.
The security forces managed to close in on two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists on Thursday after reinforcements were brought in.
Assault teams had zeroed in on what they believed to be a terrorist hideout (a cave-like structure) and brought the fury of their automatic weapons on it to neutralise the occupants.
The army and the police launched a joint operation on Tuesday night after receiving intelligence about terrorist movement and their likely hideout in the forested area.
The Anantnag encounter has brought into focus how young commanding officers of specialist counterterrorism units are filling four crucial roles --- leading from the front, conducting operations on the ground, providing motivation on the battlefield and keeping the men under their command out of harm’s way.
The encounter also offers a grim reminder of the everyday perils of a soldier’s life, unpredictable combat outcomes and the vulnerability of commanders supervising operations, the officials said.
It has shaken the relative calm in the Kashmir Valley where terror attacks had declined significantly and were at a five-year low (according to terrorism-related data tabled by the government in Parliament).