Srinagar, Sep 15 (KB): The ongoing gun battle at Gadool forest area of Kokernag hamlet in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district has entered its 3rd day, with one more army jawan succumbing to injuries, bringing the total number of casualties to four.
The operation was halted, and the cordon was tightened to prevent the militants from escaping. All new-generation weapons and devices are being used. Lastly, drones, including herons, were pressed into the search.
Officially, according to the Kashmir Bulletin (KB), the encounter at the Gadool forest has entered its 3rd day, and one more army jawan has succumbed to injuries, bringing the total number of casualties to four from the security forces’ side.
“An intermittent exchange of fire between forces and the hiding militants continued throughout yesterday, and the operation was paused due to darkness. It resumed today with the first light of the morning.”
Lastly, sources have added that GOC 15 Corps and GOC Victor force are closely monitoring the operations, and those responsible will not be spared. They added that all new-generation weapons and devices, including drones, have been pressed into action.
Previously, the police stated that the forces have encircled two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including Uzair Khan, a local militant, in the Gadool area of Kokernag. “On Wednesday, a colonel, major, and a DSP of J&K police were killed in the first assault by the militants.
Similarly, a defense spokesperson, in a statement to KB, reads,on the receipt of specific intelligence inputs about the presence of two to three militants and a likely hideout in the general area of village Garol, Anantnag, a joint search operation was launched by the Indian Army and JKP on the night of 12-13 Sep 23.
“A cordon was established and a detailed search of the village was conducted. Based on further leads were being led from the front by Col Manpreet Singh, Sena Medal, Commanding Officer of 19 RR Bn and Maj Aashish Dhonchak, Sena Medal, Company Commander of Kokernag Company of 19 RR Bn,” it reads.
The statement further reads, “the columns moved through re-entrants and rugged terrain which had dense foliage and undergrowth. On 13 Sep at approximately 1230h in the afternoon troops came under heavy fire. They retaliated, and engaged the militants. In the ensuing fire fight Col Manpreet Singh, Maj Aashish Dhonchak, and DSP Humayun, JKP suffered gunshot wounds and later succumbed laying down their lives in service to the Nation in the finest traditions of the Indian Army and Security Forces.”
“Mortal remains of Col Manpreet Singh, Maj Aashish Dhonchak were retrieved through specialized operations in the treacherous terrain. In the ensuing operations two more personnel have been injured. The operation is still under progress. The late Col Manpreet Singh was forty-one years old and had joined the Army in 2005, resident of Panchkula, Haryana. The braveheart is survived by his wife and two young children,” reads the statement.
“The late Maj Aashish Dhonchak was thirty-four years old and had joined the Indian Army in 2013, resident of Panipat, Haryana. The braveheart is survived by his wife and a young daughter. Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble LG of J&K and Lt Gen Rajiv Ghai, Chinar Corps Cdr along with Chief Secy J&K, Security Advisor to LG, DGP J&K and numerous other dignitaries have laid wreaths to pay homage to the Bravehearts today in a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt. The mortal remains of Late Col Manpreet Singh and Late Maj Aashish Dhonchak have been transported by a special aircraft for last rites to their native hometowns where they would be laid to rest with full military honours. In this hour of grief, the Indian Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity, safety and well being,” it reads. (Kashmir Bulletin–KB)