Major, jawan killed during search operation in Shopian

3 Aug 2017

An Army Major and a jawan were killed while another was injured as militants opened fire on a search party in Shopian district of Kashmir, officials said.

Major Kamlesh Pandey, Sepoys Tanzin Chhultim and Kirpal Singh were injured in the firing by militants at Zainapora in Shopian district during a cordon and search operation launched by security forces, they said. The injured soldiers were evacuated to Army's 92 Base Hospital here for treatment but Major Pandey and Sepoy Chhultim succumbed to injuries, the officials said. The security forces continued the search operation in the area but could not trace the militants.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today paid floral tributes to the two soldiers. Mehbooba and her deputy Nirmal Singh, joined Chinar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. J S Sandhu and officials from civil and police administration, to pay rich tributes to Major Pandey and Sepoy Tanzin Chhultim, in a solemn ceremony at Badamibagh cantonment here, an Army official said. Major Pandey was a spirited and daring officer who joined the Army in June 2012, said the official. He hailed from Almora in Uttrakhand and is survived by his wife and a two-year-old daughter. Sepoy Chhultim (25), a resident of Lahaul Spiti area of Himachal Pradesh, had joined the Army in September 2012, he added.

Meanwhile, a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, who was involved in a deadly attack on a bank cash van in May, was among two ultras killed in an encounter with security forces in Kulgam district, a police official said today. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Gopalpora village in Kulgam district late last night following information about presence of militants there, the official said. He said in the ensuing gunfight, two local militants were killed. They were identified as Aqib Hussain Itoo and Sohail Ahmad Rather.

The official said one of the slain militants was involved in an attack on a bank cash van in the district on May 1 this year which left five policemen and two bank guards dead. He was also involved in the killing of a police constable in Yaripora area of Kulgam district last month. The security forces have recovered two weapons from the site of the encounter, the official said, adding further details are awaited.