J-K: Terrorist, CRPF jawan killed in Kathua; 6 security personnel injured in Doda encounter

A terrorist holed up in a border village in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district was killed by security forces on Wednesday in a more than 15-hour operation during which his partner was also shot dead and a CRPF jawan lost his life, officials said.
Representative image
Representative image

Jammu | A terrorist holed up in a border village in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district was killed by security forces on Wednesday in a more than 15-hour operation during which his partner was also shot dead and a CRPF jawan lost his life, officials said.

According to them, two senior officers escaped unhurt even as their vehicles were hit by bullets during the operation that began on Tuesday night after two terrorists were spotted in Saida Sukhal village.

In Doda district, five troopers of Rashtriya Rifles and a special police officer (SPO) were injured when terrorists attacked a joint checkpost in the upper reaches of Chattergalla on the Bhaderwah-Pathankot road late on Tuesday night. Traffic on the highway has been suspended as an operation is underway to track down the terrorists.

The two incidents come just days after terrorists attacked a bus carrying pilgrims from the Shiv Khori temple to Katra, causing it to veer off the road and fall into a deep gorge. Nine people died and 41 were injured in the Sunday evening attack.

Police have announced a Rs 20 lakh reward for information on the whereabouts of the terrorists involved in the attack on the bus and have also released the sketch of one of the terrorists.

Authorities have claimed that attempts by Pakistan to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir were the reason for the spurt in terror activities in the Jammu region.

In Kathua's Saida Sukhal village near the International Border -- around 60 kms from here -- the second holed-up terrorist was killed on Wednesday noon in an intense gunfight after being cornered by the joint security parties of the police, Army and CRPF, officials said.

The terrorist tried to break the cordon by firing indiscriminately at the security forces around 3 am. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan Kabir Dass, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, was critically injured in the firing and later succumbed to injuries in a hospital, they said.

During the operation, official vehicles of Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jammu-Samba-Kathua range, Sunil Gupta and Senior Superintendent of Police, Kathua, Anayat Ali Choudhary were hit by several bullets but the officers escaped unhurt.

Talking to reporters after the encounter ended, Additional Director General of Police (Jammu zone) Anand Jain, who supervised the operation, said both the terrorists have been killed and a large quantity of weapons, improvised explosive devices and grenades recovered from them.

"A search is still on as there is a possibility of some more terrorists hiding in the area. The terrorists had freshly infiltrated (from across the border) and a joint operation was launched immediately after getting information about their presence in the village," he said.

He lauded the bravery of the slain CRPF jawan and said, "We salute his sacrifice." Earlier, the ADGP said, "Two terrorists entered the village around 8 pm on Tuesday and asked for water from a household. The people got frightened and as soon as they informed us, a police team rushed to the village." "One of the terrorists tried to hurl a grenade at the police team and was killed in the exchange of fire," he said.

Officials said both the slain terrorists are believed to be Pakistanis. An M4 carbine, an AK assault rifle and over Rs 1 lakh in cash besides Pakistan-made food items and medicines were seized from the encounter site, they said, adding the identity and group affiliation of the terrorists were being ascertained.

A civilian was also injured in the terrorist firing and was hospitalised on Tuesday night, the officials said.

In Doda, terrorists fired on a joint checkpost of the 4 Rashtriya Rifles and police at Chattergalla area late on Tuesday night, leading to a fierce gunfight which continued for several hours, officials said.

They said five Rashtriya Rifles personnel and an SPO were injured and they were taken to hospital. Additional security personnel have been rushed to the area to intensify the operation against the terrorists, they said.

According to the officials, traffic movement has been completely suspended on the busy Bhadarwah-Pathankot interstate highway in view of the ongoing search and cordon operation in Chattergalla, Guldandi, Sarthal, Shankh Pader and Kailash mountain range.

Without naming Pakistan, ADGP Anand Jain said the "hostile" neighbour is always making attempts to disturb peace in the Jammu region.

Meanwhile, a search and cordon operation has been launched in the Kalal area of the Nowshera sector in Rajouri district following suspicious movement of two persons.

Security forces have been put on high alert following intelligence reports about possible attempts by terrorists to carry out an attack, especially in Poonch and Rajouri districts which has been seeing a spurt in terror activities over the past two years, officials said.

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