One of the longest anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir’s history reached its culmination today in the Gadole forest area of Anantnag district, leaving four security personnel and at least two terrorists dead, including LeT commander Uzair Khan.
The intensive search operation, spearheaded by top officials of the security grid including the DGP and the GOC of the Army’s 15 Corps, endured for a gruelling seven days, commencing last Wednesday following an encounter which tragically cost the lives of Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonchak, and Deputy Superintendent Humayun Bhat. Adding to the tragedy was the death of a soldier named Pradeep, who was confirmed dead after his body was recovered on Monday.
Despite the dense forest terrain presenting a challenge, security forces utilised drones and helicopters to scrutinise the area known for its cave-like hideouts, believed to be the refuge of the terrorists since the initiation of the operation. To prevent the assailants from infiltrating civilian domains, security perimeters were extended to the neighbouring Posh Kreeri region on Sunday.
Acknowledging the solemnity of the lives lost, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha vowed retribution, stating, “Every drop of blood of the slain security personnel will be avenged,” and assured a heavy price for the terrorist handlers.
While the intense gunfight officially ended today, Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar emphasised that the search operations would continue due to the expansive area yet to be explored, and the potential presence of unexploded shells. Kumar urged the public to steer clear of the area, hinting at the possible discovery of a third body once the operation concludes. The operation stands as a testament to the solidarity and the bravery of the forces safeguarding the nation, etching a sad but firm mark of resistance against militancy in the region.
Floral tributes to fallen sepoy in Srinagar
A solemn ceremony took place on Monday at the Chinar Corps headquarters, Badamibagh Cantonment, led by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, to honour Sepoy Pardeep Singh, who made the supreme sacrifice during a seven-day long anti-terror operation in Anantnag. Sinha, alongside dignitaries including the chief secretary, the DGP, and the general officer commanding of the Army’s Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, laid floral tributes, acknowledging Singh’s “exemplary courage and sacrifice”. His body was found in the Gadole forest area of south Kashmir on Monday. Sharing his homage on social media, Sinha expressed deep reverence for Singh’s bravery. The Chinar Corps also acknowledged the event on their platform, paying respect to the soldier’s ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during Operation Garol. As an expression of the collective grief and solidarity, the Army stated that it stands firmly with Singh’s family, ensuring their “dignity, safety, and well-being.” The martyr will be laid to rest with full military honours at his hometown, marking a solemn farewell to a true hero of the nation. Singh went missing on the inaugural day of the operation, which unfortunately witnessed the demise of several officers including Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonchak, and Deputy Superintendent Humayun Bhat. The identity of another body recovered alongside Singh is under verification.