Gurez gunfight: Additional reinforcement rushed to site amid massive searches; no militant body recovered

Following the killing of four army soldiers including an officer, army on Wednesday rushed additional reinforcement of paratroops amid a massive search operation at Bakhtoor area of Gurez sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

A police officer told GNS that a hunt has been launched soon after the stand-off between army and “infiltrators” at Bakhtoor area of Gurez on Tuesday morning which resulted into the killing of four army men including a major.

“Additional reinforcement of army’s para commandos was also rushed to the site and a search operation was launched in the entire area to track down the militant group hiding inside the dense woods,” he said.

The officer said that so far no militant body has been recovered from the area during the day-long searches on Wednesday.

Sources, however, said that army has used sniffer dogs and pressed helicopters into service to trace out the fleeing “infiltrators”.

“Army has paid rich tributes to four of its comrades who made the supreme sacrifice during counter infiltration operations on Tuesday in Gurez sector in which two militants were eliminated,” army’s Srinagar based defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia in a statement issued here to GNS.

“In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen AK Bhatt, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks, paid homage to the slain on behalf of a proud nation. In a show of solidarity, Mr SP Vaid, DGP Jammu and Kashmir Police and representatives from other security agencies also joined in to pay their last respects,” the spokesperson said.

Late Major Kaustubh Prakash Kumar Rane, SM of Thane, Maharashtra, Rifleman Hameer Singh of Uttar Kashi, Uttarakhand, Rifleman Mandeep Singh Rawat of Kotdwar, Uttarakhand and Gunner Vikram Jeet Singh of Ambala, Haryana sustained bullet injuries during the fierce operation in Kanzalwan, Gurez of Bandipora district. They were provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but succumbed to their injuries, the spokesperson said.

He said the mortal remains of the slain were flown for last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours.

“In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their dignity and well being,” the spokesperson said. (GNS)

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