A soldier of the Indian Army and a militant were killed in a gun battle at southern district of Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, while another soldier was injured, officials said on Wednesday.
The encounter started on Tuesday night when security forces were searching the Kamrazipora area of Pulwama based on inputs about the presence of militants there.
The officials said that Sowar Jilajeet Singh Yadav received injuries in an exchange of fire with militants near an orchard in Kamrazipora and later succumbed. A militant was also killed in the encounter.
“A terrorist killed and a soldier laid down his life in the line of duty. One AK rifle along with grenades, pouches and other war like stores were recovered. Search operation is in progress,” said Indian Army’s Srinagar based PRO, Colonel Rajesh Kalia.
A police spokesman said the militants were given an opportunity to surrender, however, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which retaliated leading to an encounter.
The slain militant has been identified as Azaad Lalhari, a resident of Pulwama. As per police record, Azaad was affiliated with proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and had a history of terror crime.
“He was involved in planning and executing several terror attacks in the area. Several terror crime cases were registered against him including one pertaining to the killing of HC Anoop Singh at Prichoo in Pulwama,” the spokesperson said.
Local reports said that another militant managed to flee during the search operation, however, the claim was not corroborated by the security agencies.
An army spokesman later said that Sowar Jilajeet Singh Yadav was leading the security team when it ran into the terrorists during the operation.
“In the ensuing firefight, one terrorist was eliminated and Sowar Jilajeet Singh Yadav received gunshot wounds. Despite being grievously injured, he continued to fight. He was subsequently evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar where he eventually succumbed to his injuries,” the spokesman said.
Army offered tributes to Yadav in a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment where Lt Gen BS Raju, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks were present to pay their homage.
Yadav was 25 years old and had joined the Army on March 18, 2014. He belonged to Village Ijari of Sadar Tehsil, Jaunpur District in Uttar Pradesh and is survived by his wife. Yadav’s mortal remains were taken to his native place, where he would be cremated with full military honors.
Soldier fired upon at Srinagar National Highway
Meanwhile, one soldier was injured in a separate incident in North Kashmir where militants fired upon a quick reaction team of army on Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway.
“Terrorists fired at a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of Indian Army today. The QRT was moving from Baramulla towards Gulmarg on the Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway near Trumgund Hygam crossing. One Army soldier was injured. Search operation is in progress,” Colonel Kalia said.
Militant arrested in Bandipora
Security forces arrested an active militant of proscribed outfit Lashkar e Taiba from Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora and recovered arms & ammunition from his possession.
“Based on credible information, Handwara Police along with Bandipora Police, 13RR, 32RR & 92BN CRPF have arrested one active terrorist identified as Aquib Ahmad Rather alias Jana, a resident of Sahipora, Handwara from Hajin area of Bandipora,” a police spokesman said.
Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from his possession. As per police records he was linked with proscribed outfit LeT.