An Indian army colonel was killed and two government forces men were injured during a gunfight with militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwor district on Tuesday. Sources told Kashmir Dispatch that the commanding officer of army’s 41 Rashtriya Rifles, Colonel Santosh Mahadik, was killed when his troops and the policemen from the special operation group were conducting searches in the district’s Nanigah-Hygam belt, over 110 kms from Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar. Sources said that the joint group of army and policemen had received inputs about the presence of militants in the Hygam belt, close to the Line of Control that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The gunfight was going on when the report was filed. The other injured were shifted to army’s hospital in district’s Drugmul, where from they were shifted to the main army hospital in Srinagar. Official sources said the army’s 41 RR and para-commandos had intercepted the group of Lashkar-e-Toiba militants last evening. The militants opened heavy fire triggering of a brief encounter at Behak forest area. However, they said that the group had managed to escape again while taking advantage of darkness in the area last evening. Injured army colonel Santosh Mahadik being shifted from the site of gunfight. KD Photo Injured army colonel Santosh Mahadik being shifted from the site of gunfight. KD Photo Pertinently, the group according to sources, had managed to give slip to troops on Friday evening before injuring two soldiers at Payerpati forest area in Manigah. Today afternoon, the group was again intercepted by the para-troopers and army’s 41 RR in the forest area. The militant group opened indiscriminate fire upon the troops resulting in injuries to two soldiers including commanding officer of 41 RR identified as Santosh and a policeman. The soldier was identified as Majloom Ahmad of TA 160 and was attached with army’s 41 RR, they said. All the injured were immediately evacuated to military hospital here in Srinagar for specialized treatment, they said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch