Leading from the front in one of the deadliest operations in the valley Colonel Ashutosh Sharma along with a major and two soldiers, and a Jammu and Kashmir Police sub-inspector was martyred in an encounter with terrorists at Handwara in Kupwara district. The encounter in the valley started on Saturday and continued until late at night. Two terrorists were also killed in this operation.
Successful joint effort
A joint anti-terrorist operation by armed forces and J&K police took place in Handwara area, the five-member team showed courage and rescued civilians who were held as hostages. In a high volume of firing, two terrorists were also killed, one was named Haider, a commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Information of terrorists hiding
Colonel Sharma along with other members of his team were returning after carrying out a massive operation in the Wadarbala-Rajwara forests when they got information that some terrorists had been hiding in a house at Chanjimulla village of Handwara tehsil.
Heavy firing by hidden terrorists
The security forces reached the area after getting the news that several civilians had been kept as hostage in a house by some terrorists. Therefore, Colonel Sharma and his team went there for a rescue operation. However, some terrorists were hiding in a cowshed adjacent to that house, and they started heavy firing and lobbing grenades the moment security personnel reached on the spot.
Security personnel losses contact
During the encounter, security personnel lost contact with their security forces, including those commandos who were positioned outside the house. When someone dialled Colonel Sharma’s phone, a terrorist received the call and answered ‘Assalamualaikum’. In the heavy gunfire between the Armed Forces and the terrorists, some civilians managed to sneak, and many were released by the Indian Army.
Who are the martyred soldiers
Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, the commanding officer of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles, was part of several successful anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir region. He was from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. He is survived by his wife Pallavi Ashutosh, and a 12 years old daughter.
Major Anuj Sood made the supreme sacrifice for the nation. He was born in Bangalore. His father had also served in the Indian Army; his name is Brigadier Chandrakant Sood. He was married recently.
Lance Naik Dinesh Singh, a brave soldier of 21 Rashtriya Rifles, belonged to Almora, Uttarakhand.
Naik Rajesh Kumar is part of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles and also sacrificed his life in the fight against terrorists in Handwara. He was from Punjab.
Qazi Pathan of Jammu and Kashmir police was born in 1978 at Kupwara in J&K. He, along with other members, had gone to flee the captive civilians with the Army laid down his life.
Amit Shah and others pay tribute
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and other dignitaries paid tribute to the five security personnel who were killed in a terrorist encounter at Handwara. The nation will always remember their supreme sacrifice.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the “valour and sacrifice” of the security personnel “will never be forgotten”. “Tributes to our courageous soldiers and security personnel martyred in Handwara.
The Handwara operation has proved the determination of the security personnel of the country. Therefore, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said in a statement, “The operations in Handwara highlight the determination of the security forces to safeguard the lives of the people”.
Punjab CM to give 10-lakh to Rajesh Kumar
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh announced to give Rs 10 lakh compensation along with a government job to a family member of Naik Rajesh Kumar, the slain soldier belonging to Punjab.
UP CM announces 50-lakh to Ashutosh Sharma
Uttar Pradesh chief minister has decided to give Rs 50 lakh to the family of Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, who sacrificed his life in the Handwara encounter. The UP government is set to provide a government job to one of the members of the fallen soldier.
The nation paid tributes to the slain security personnel for their sacrifice while eliminating the terrorist activities at Handwara. They will not return, but they have left a permanent mark of their bravery.