Colonel, Major among 5 security personnel martyred in Handwara encounter
Four Indian Army personnel and a police sub-inspector got martyred in an encounter in Handwara, Jammu and Kashmir. Two senior officers, Colonel Ashutosh Sharma and Major Anuj, were among those killed in the encounter, that also saw the elimination of two terrorists. The encounter began at around 3:30 pm on Saturday in the Chanjmulla area of Handwara.
According to reports, the security personnel killed in the encounter have been identified as Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh, Lance Naik Dinesh, and police sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi. Colonel Sharma, the Commanding Officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles, had led the team into a civilian home, where terrorists were holed up, to evacuate the hostages.
An Indian Army spokesperson told ANI that they had received intelligence inputs that terrorists were keeping civilians hostage in the house. A joint operation was then launched by the India Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the spokesperson said. An official, who wished to remain anonymous, had earlier told Hindustan Times that four terrorists were holed up in the house.
The Army spokesperson told ANI that a team comprising five Army and J&K police personnel "entered the area and successfully extricated the civilians." The team was subjected to a "heavy volume of fire by terrorists" during the hours-long operation and the five security personnel attained martyrdom. According to India Today, internet services were also snapped in Handwara as part of the operation.
The loss of our soldiers and security personnel in Handwara(JK) is deeply disturbing and painful. They showed exemplary courage in their fight against the terrorists and made supreme sacrifice while serving the country. We will never forget their bravery and sacrifice.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 3, 2020