2 cops, three Army jawans martyred, 5 terrorists killed

Srinagar, Mar 21: Two policemen and three Army jawans attained martyrdom while five terrorists were killed in an encounter which ensued on Tuesday in the frontier district of Kupwara.
Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that one more jawan, who was injured in the exchange of fire in the woods in Halmatpora in Kupwara, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said that with the recovery of one more body on Wednesday evening, the total number of militants, all of whom are believed to be foreigners, killed in the ongoing encounter has risen to five.
“The militants are part of a freshly infiltrated group from across the Line of Control (LoC),” he added.
“The search operation by security forces was suspended last night due to darkness only to be resumed with the first light this morning in the woods in Halmatpora in Kupwara,” Col said.
He said fresh contact was established with militants this morning, adding two policemen and three Army jawans were injured in the exchange of fire. “The injured were evacuated from the area and rushed to a hospital, where four of them succumbed,” he said, adding one militant was also gunned down.
He said one more jawan succumbed to his injures at Army hospital in Srinagar this evening.
Official sources said two policemen, including an officer, were also injured in the encounter, which was going on when the reports last came in.
The police spokesperson said the deceased policemen are Special Police Officer (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir police Mohammad Yousuf and Selection Grade Constable Deepak Thusoo.
The martyred Army jawans were identified as Mohammad Ashraf Rather and Ranjeet Singh.
He said huge cache of arms and ammunition and other incriminating materials which include AK 47 rifles, grenades, etc were recovered from the encounter site.
“The encounter was in progress in the dense forests area. Owing to the thick vegetation and low visibility, the security forces are mopping the area with due caution,” he added.
He said that following specific information about presence of militants in Halmatpora check forests, a joint search operation was launched by SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army and CRPF in the area on Tuesday.
However, when security forces were moving towards a particular area in the forest, militants hiding there, fired at them with automatic weapons. Security forces also retaliated ensuing in an encounter. Four militants were killed on Tuesday in the exchange of fire.
Sources said security forces have also launched a search operation in the adjacent forest areas, including Gulgam and Awoora, which is connected to Halmathpora forests.