Colonel, Major among 5 killed in encounter in J&K’s Handwara; 2 terrorists shot dead – Indian Defence Research Wing


A colonel, one major and two soldiers of the Indian Army were killed along with a police officer during an operation to flush terrorists out of a house in Handwara in north Kashmir, sources said on Sunday. Two terrorists were also killed in the encounter that began around 3:30pm on Saturday in Chanjmulla area of Handwara. Sources said Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj, a Lance Naik, a rifleman and police sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi were killed after the hours-long firefight with terrorists holed up in a house.

The commanding officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles along with four others had entered the house to evacuate the trapped people after the firing had stopped for an hour.

Officials said their bodies have been recovered from the encounter site. The civilians have been rescued, they added. Throughout the night as the gun battle raged, several Pakistani accounts on Facebook and Telegram ran propaganda against the operation.

An official, who asked not to be named, had said earlier that approximately four terrorists were holed up in the house.The encounter began on Saturday afternoon after the army and police launched a joint operation in the forests of Rajwar following a tip-off about the presence of terrorists in the area. The terrorists emerged and hid inside a house.

Teams of the Special Operation Group of police had surrounded the house and lights were erected around the area where the encounter was underway, a senior security official said, asking not to be named.