5 Security personnel killed in an encounter with terrorists in North Kashmir: PM Modi leads the nation in paying homage to the martyrs

Director-General of Police Dilbagh Singh has confirmed that an Army Colonel and a Major were among five security personnel killed in an encounter with terrorists at a village in north Kashmir’s Handwara area. They were  Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, sub-inspector of JKP Shakeel Qazi, Naik Rajesh and Lance Naik Dinesh. Col Sharma was the Commanding Officer of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles and was decorated for gallantry twice in Kashmir. A wreath-laying ceremony was held at Srinagar and thereafter the body of Colonel  Sharma was flown to Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh and that of Major Sood to Chandigarh, the officials said. The Colonel and his team bravely rescued civilians held hostage by the terrorists. The two terrorists were killed in the encounter. The Army said based on the intelligence input that terrorists were taking hostage some civilians in a house in Changimulla at Handwara of Kupwara district, a joint operation was launched by the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police. A team comprising five Army and police personnel entered the target area occupied by the terrorists to evacuate the civilians and successfully extricated them. However, during the process, the team came under a heavy volume of fire by the terrorists and in the ensuing firefight, two terrorists were eliminated and the five Army personnel and a policeman were killed in the line of duty. The terrorists are believed to have come to Handwara to receive an infiltrating group from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, officials said.

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