SRINAGAR: A deputy superintendent (DSP) of J&K Police, an army jawan and three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Sunday.A police official said acting on information on the presence of militants, a joint party of police, CRPF and army laid siege on Turigam village. He said after plugging all escape routes, security personnel zeroed-in on residential houses where the militants were hiding.
“As the troops reached the target, they came under heavy fire from militants hiding there. In the firing, DySP Aman Kumar Thakur and two army men, including a Major, were injured,” the official said.
He said the injured were evacuated to the army hospital in Srinagar, where DSP Thakur and the soldier succumbed to the injuries.
After the initial gunfight, additional troops were rushed to the area and security personnel engaged militants in the firefight. “In the ensuing gunfight, which continued till evening, three Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed,” the police said. The house, where from the militants were firing, was gutted in the encounter.
Sources said two of the deceased militants were locals and another was from Pakistan. The identity of the deceased militants was being ascertained, they said.
On February 14, in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed when a JeM terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their convoy.
A 2011-batch JK Police Services officer and a resident of Doda district in the Jammu region, Thakur was leading the police team from the front during Sunday's encounter, which lasted for about three hours.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said, "It is an unfortunate incident, in which we have lost a brave officer. He was a fighter and he led Sunday's operation himself."
Thakur was posted as the DySP (operation) in Kulgam, a terrorist-infested area of south Kashmir, two years ago and had successfully carried out anti-terror operations in the area.
He was awarded the DGP's Commendation Medal and Certificate for his exemplary service only last month.
Advisor Vijay Kumar and Additional Director General of Police (CID) B Srinivas visited the slain DySP's house in Jammu and conveyed their condolences to the family members.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik also expressed grief over Thakur's demise.
(with inputs from PTI)