Handwara encounter today: Colonel, Major among 5 personnel martyred in Kashmir encounter with terrorists | India News

NEW DELHI: An Army Colonel and a Major were among the five security personnel who were killed in action in a fierce encounter with terrorists at Chanjimulla area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Saturday.
Two terrorists were killed in the encounter after Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, the commanding officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles, and Major Anuj Sood led the five-member team in storming a house in the area.
“Based on the intelligence inputs that terrorists had taken hostage the civilian inmates in the house, the operation was launched by the team… the civilians were successfully extricated,” said an Army officer.
“During the operation, the security personnel were subjected to heavy volume of fire by the terrorists. In the ensuing fire-fight, two terrorists were eliminated but the five personnel also laid down their lives,” he added.
Top Lashkar-e Taiba commander Haider from Pakistan was also killed in the Handwara encounter, according to IG Kashmir Vijay Kumar.
Colonel Sharma had been conferred with Sena Medal for gallantry twice earlier, the second time as the commanding officer of 21 RR for killing a terrorist in close combat at Handwara in 2018. Both he and Major Sood were from the Guards Regiment. The others were identified as Naik Rajesh and Lance-Naik Dinesh of 21 RR, and sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi of the J&K Police.
(With inputs from agencies)

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