SRINAGAR: At least four soldiers including a Major rank officer were reported killed in otherwise peaceful Gurez sector. They had challenged a group of infiltrators, reports said.
Slain Major was identified as K P Rane, as three other soldiers were hawaldars Jamie Singh and Vikramjeet and Mandeep, a rifleman. Reports said the encounter took place at Losar Nallah in Gurez sector of Bandipore district. The post that is closer to the spot of encounter is manned by personnel from 36-RR.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar have confirmed the encounter.
Reports from army and the police suggest that it was an 8-member group of militants who were attempting infiltration. When they were challenged, four of them returned back and the encounter started. By now, the army has said they have killed two militants and the two are still fighting with the soldiers. Defence spokesman has told reporters that the reinforcement have been rushed to the spot.
Police said they have no confirmation if any of the four slain soldiers’ bodies have been recovered so far. Defence sources have said they can easily see the bodies of the two slain infiltrators.
Gurez is one of the comparatively peaceful belts straddling the LoC. However, it had series of occasions when the infiltrators chose this track and were caught or killed.
Earlier in the day, India’s Home Minister Jr Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said 69 infiltrators were killed on the LoC and International Border (IB) this year till June. In a written reply to the Parliament, he said there 133 attempts of infiltration of which 69 succeeded.
In 2017, he said, there were 406 infiltration bids in which 123 militants crossed in and were killed.
The minister said that as many as 694 militants were killed and 368 others , including suspects were arrested between 2014 and July, 2018.
This year, so far, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 308 incidents of violence in which 113 militants were killed in 90 encounters. In these incidents 49 security personnel were also killed.
During the Ramzan ceasefire, the minister said, 73 incidents of violence took place which is almost double than 34 incidents during the previous month. Apart from 23 militants, eight security personnel and three civilians were killed during the Ramzan ceasefire.