Colonel, Major and J&K Police DSP killed in encounter with terrorists in Kashmir

NEW DELHI: An Indian Army Colonel commanding a Rashtriya Rifles battalion, along with a Major and deputy superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed in an encounter with terrorists in the Gadool forest of the Kokernag area of Anantnag district on Wednesday. 

Part of the search party that came under heavy fire from the terrorists hiding in the forest, Colonel Manpreet Singh, commanding officer of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonack, and DySP Humayun Bhat were critically injured in the early hours of Wednesday. 

The three were immediately airlifted to Srinagar but succumbed to their injuries at the military hospital in Batwara. Six others in the team including one army soldier and five policemen were also injured in the incident are were admitted to the hospital for treatment.

According to agencies banned organisation, the Resistance Front (TRF), a proxy of the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Col Manpreet was commanding the 19 Rashtriya Rifles leading his troops from the front when he was hit by a volley of bullets from the terrorists who were firing from a vantage point. 

Col Manpreet in his early 40s, was a combat veteran and was awarded the Sena Medal during his tenure as second-in-command of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles  He hailed from Mohali in Punjab and is survived by his wife and their two young children 6 years six-year-old son and two years two-year-old daughter.

Major Ashish Dhonchak was a third-generation soldier from Haryana and is survived behind his mother, wife, two-year-old daughter, and six-year-old son.

DySP Bhat who was also killed in the encounter was the son of retired inspector general of Jammu and Kashmir police Ghulam Hasan Bhat and is survived by a wife and a two-month-old daughter.

The attack comes a day after an Army personnel and a six-year-old female Labrador of the Army's dog unit named Kent, were killed and three security personnel injured in the gunfight South of Pir Panjal at Rajouri in Jammu region. Two terrorists were killed in an encounter in the remote Narla village.

The TRF had come into existence in 2019 following the abrogation of Article 370 and revocation of special status to J&K in August 2019 and was recruiting youth through the online medium for furthering terrorist activities, recruitment of terrorists, infiltration of terrorists and smuggling of weapons and narcotics from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir. It was banned by the Union Home Ministry in January this year.


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