Two LeT terrorists ‘encircled’ by Police in Kokernag
Srinagar: The operation to neutralise the terrorists involved in the encounter that led to the killing of four security forces personnel continued for the second day on Thursday as police claimed to have “encircled” two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in the higher reaches of Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
Gunshots were heard in the Gadole forests of Kokernag in Anantnag district in the early hours of Thursday as reinforcements were rushed to the area to take down the terrorists who were believed to be hiding in a natural cave in the mountains, the officials said.
Helicopters were seen hovering over the Gadole forests as army and police personnel maintained a tight cordon around the area, the officials said.
Sounds of firing could be heard throughout the day but there were no reports of any fresh casualties.
Earlier in the day, the police said it has “encircled” two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in Anantnag district where four security forces personnel — Colonel Manpreet Singh, commanding officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonchak, Deputy Superintendent of Police Humayun Bhat and a soldier — were killed in the encounter on Wednesday morning.
“In solemn tribute to the unwavering valor of Col Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonchak & DSP Humayun Bhat who laid down their lives leading from the front during this ongoing operation. Our forces persist with unwavering resolve as they encircle 2 LET terrorists including Uzair Khan,” Kashmir Zone Police said in a post on X.
While Bhat was laid to rest at a graveyard near his Humhama family home, the bodies of Colonel Singh and Major Dhanchok were airlifted from Kokernag to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital at Badamibagh here this afternoon.
Officials said top army, police and civil administration officials will pay their last respects to the slain officers, before their mortal remains are sent to their native places for the last rites.
Meanwhile, scores of people turned up at the residences of Colonel Singh and Major Dhonchak, with some saying the Army should give a befitting reply to the ultras for the cowardly act.
A number of villagers turned up at the houses of Singh (in Mohali’s Mullanpur) and Dhonchak (in Panipat) in the morning.
The families of the two slain army officers were inconsolable.
The mortal remains of the two are expected to reach their respective places by the evening, the family members said.
In Jammu, anti-Pakistan protests were held on Thursday in various parts of the city against the killing of four security personnel by terrorists.
The Panun Kashmir and the Eik Sanatam Bharat Dal paid homage to the personnel and demanded a massive operation against the terrorist ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir.
Scores of BJP youth workers, led by Jammu and Kashmir unit president Arun Prabhat, held a protest at Pacca Danga assailing Pakistan for aiding and abetting terrorism in J&K.
They raised slogans against Pakistan and burnt posters of the country’s flags. “Pakistan is rattled by the popularity of Bharat after the success of G20 Summit. That is why they are trying to disturb peace in J&K. They want to create trouble in the region,” Prabhat told reporters.