A soldier has reportedly gone missing while two others were injured in an encounter with terrorists that is underway for over 48 hours in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. The gunfight broke out early Wednesday morning after the army and the police launched a joint operation to hunt down terrorists in the dense forests of Kokernag.

Three officers, including two from the Army and a policeman, were killed in action on that day. There is no update on the casualty figure on the side of the terrorists.

The security forces are using new-generation weapons and devices, including strike-capable Heron drones, in their intensified anti-terror operations.

The Joint-Operation

The Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police launched their joint search operation on the night of September 12-13. They laid a cordon in search of some terrorists in Garol village, officials said.

An extensive search led to the conclusion that the terrorists were in a hideout in the higher reaches of the dense forest.

Colonel Manpreet Singh, who led the search column, along with Major Aashish Dhonchak moved through the entrants and rugged terrain of the forests. Around noon, they came under heavy firing from the terrorists and retaliated.

Colonel Singh, Major Dhonchak and DSP Himanyun Bhat suffered gunshot wounds during the fierce encounter and later died due to the injuries.

The Bravehearts

Colonel Manpreet Singh, Sena Medal (Gallantry), was the Commanding Officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles Unit (19 RR) and Major Aashish Dhonchak, Sena Medal (Gallantry), was the company commander of 19 RR. Himanyun Muzamil Bhat was a Deputy Superintendent (DySP) in the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday paid tribute to the army officers in Srinagar.

The Army said a specialized operation was conducted in the treacherous terrain of Kokernag to retrieve the bodies of the officers. Their bodies will be transported through a special aircraft to their hometowns.

Written By Radhika Madan

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