3 Armymen killed in J&K's Pampore encounter

Through the day, the terrorists kept on firing and throwing grenades on the security forces.

Srinagar: Three Army officials including two captains and a corporal were on Sunday killed while fighting militants holed up in a multi-storey building outside the highway town of Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir since Saturday evening.

Army and police sources said that militants believed to be one local and two foreigners are using 'shrewd' and 'dodging' tactics against combat forces and have used their ammunition judiciously. Before the troops stormed the premises around noon on Sunday, the militants were advantageously positioned in the main concrete multi-storey block at J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JK EDI) campus at Pampore, 16-km south of summer capital Srinagar. It has a canteen on top floor full of eatables. However, it caught fire during the fighting.

Read: Army salutes bravery of its officers killed in J&K encounter

After the troops stormed the building, the militants scattered and then started moving from room to room and floor to floor. One of them subsequently rushed into an adjacent building and troops from Army including crack teams from its Para Special Force were making an all out but tactical effort to flush him and two others them out.

Reports said that the security forces have already secured the ground, first and second floors of the main block after using grenades. Firing stopped with nightfall, however.

Read: Pampore encounter: 'I could not be more proud', says father of slain Army captain

The officers who laid down their lives while fighting militants are Captain Tushar Mahajan of Army’s 9 PARA, Captain Pawan Kumar of 10 PARA and Lance Naik Om Prakash of 9 PARA. While Captain Mahajan was a resident of J&K Udhampur district, Captain Kumar was from Jind district of Haryana and corporal Prakash from Shimla (Himachal Pradesh).

The other slain men are two CRPF jawans and a civilian who fell in Saturday’s militant ambush on a Srinagar-bound force convoy along Srinagar-Jammu highway at Sempora, Pampore and subsequent shootout. Nine other CRPF men were injured.

After a few hours' lull, firing between militants and security forces resumed with first light on Sunday. The armed stand-off began when the militants after targeting the CRPF convoy with gun fire ran into nearby JK EDI campus and took positions in the main block on Saturday afternoon. Eleven CRPF jawans were wounded, two of them fatally, in the militant ambush and subsequent gun battle.

A police official said that after opening fire at the CRPF convoy, the militant trio fled into nearby JK EDI campus and before taking positions on ground and first floor of the main building tossed a hand grenade towards the CRPF men, causing minor injuries to some of them. This was followed by the exchange of fire between the two sides. Simultaneously efforts were started by police to evacuate the trapped students and faculty members of the Institute, he said.

Lance Naik Om Prakash Lance Naik Om Prakash

Army kill one terrorist in Kashmir gunbattle
The Army lost Captain Pawan Kumar, Captain Tushar Mahajan and jawan Om Prakash, all of the elite Para commando units, in the gunbattle on Sunday. The Army succeeded in eliminating one of the terrorists by evening, an official said.

Captain Pawan Kumar, who hailed from Haryana’s Jind, sustained grievous injuries in militant firing as security forces tried to make their way into the building in the wee hours today, an army official said. He succumbed to injuries later. Captain Tushar Mahajan from Udhampur was also injured in the encounter and succumbed to injuries later at hospital.

Captain Tushar Mahajan Captain Tushar Mahajan

As the security forces exchanged heavy gunfire with the holed up militants, another soldier from the Para unit, Om Prakash, was injured and taken to 92 Base Hospital of the Army at Badamibagh Cantonment where he succumbed.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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