Lt Gen BS Raju, Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
Lt Gen BS Raju, Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps.

Army soldiers show grit, valour in battle on high slopes to neutralise five Pakistan-backed terrorists

ANI | Updated: Apr 07, 2020 01:14 IST


Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], April 7 (ANI) It was an intense hand-to-hand battle with Pakistan-based terrorists who were trying to infiltrate in Jammu and Kashmir even as the rest of the world grappled with COVID-19. All of them neutralised in the tough mountainous region along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector.
Operation Rangdouri Behak was conducted over five days and reflected the determination of the Army not to let the designs of Pakistan succeed. The soldiers were operating in extremely challenging terrain in very high snow levels and over extremely steep slopes in hot pursuit of the terrorists sent by Pakistan.
Giving details of the operation in which five personnel of Special Forces lost their lives, Lt Gen BS Raju, Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said all the five terrorists who were killed came from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
He said the infiltration happened on April 1 early in the morning and the bid was immediately detected by the battalion deployed along LoC and they were given a chase.
Despite extremely challenging conditions, the battalion was able to make contact with terrorists at 1 pm and in the brief fire-fight that took place, the terrorists abandoned their heavy loads and bolted down a deep gorge.
Lt Gen Raju said by late evening, the formation responsible for that particular area was able to successfully isolate the terrorists in the north along LOC and in the South on the Shamshabari range.
"Over the next two days, on April 2 and 3, the formation conducted multiple helicopter and UAV sorties to get better situational awareness. They also used this time to isolate the terrorists both from the east and west," he said.
Lt Gen Raju said that on April 4 by mid-day, based on the information available of the likely location of terrorists, special forces were dropped in the close vicinity by helicopters.
"As this column was approaching the target area, one of the terrorists, who probably was a guide, started to return back towards the LC and he was neutralised immediately," he said.
Lt Gen Raju said that the special forces, who were approaching the target area, were traversing an extremely challenging terrain in very high snow levels and over extremely steep slopes.
He said the special forces were able to neutralise the remaining four terrorists.
"In this operation, we were able to recover 5 AK-47 rifles along with its ammunition, two pistols, satellite radio communication equipment, VHF equipment along with a large quantity of administrative stores," he said.
Lt Gen Raju said the operation clearly shows the complicity of Pakistan in aiding and abetting infiltration and, as a consequence, terrorism in the valley.
"This act of Pakistan is specially reprehensible as when the whole world is fighting against COVID-19 and its aftermath, here is Pakistan which is aiding and abetting infiltration," he said.
The Army commander said that five brave soldiers were martyred in defence of the nation in the operation.
"I would also like to take this opportunity on all behalf of all ranks of Chinar Corps to pay my tribute to these five men and their families and the sacrifice they have made is in the true spirit and highest traditions of Indian Army. I would like to assure countrymen that while you are busy fighting COVID, we deployed along LOC will guard it and allow no mischief by Pakistan," he said.
An Army infantry battalion Commanding Officer said that his battalion is deployed on LoC in Kashmir in extremely harsh terrain at 11,000 feet.
"On April 1, we detected an infiltration and immediately launched the operation. My boys have been operating day and night in subzero temperatures in inclement weather traversing steep slope of 70-degree gradient, wading through 6 to 10 feet of snow in hot pursuit of the terrorists," he said.
He said the sustained operations over the last couple of days, made possible by gritty Indian Army soldiers, persisted with the singular aim of preventing infiltration of terrorists into the hinterland where they may have caused mayhem.
"The continuous pursuit led to the neutralisation of five hard-core terrorists. We remain committed in our resolve to guard our border and also ensure zero infiltration," he said.
An Indian Army Special Forces soldier, who took part in Op Rangdouri Behak, said they were dropped through helicopter for the final assault and the snow so much that they were into it almost till their chests.
"It took us half an hour to get out and check our things. Then we followed their track. We followed the track for four-five hours after which we got their tell-tale signs and then more tactical movement started," he said.
He said the terrorists jumped into a nullah when the contact was made. One of the teams realised it was on the cornice and it broke after which they fell into the nullah close to where the terrorists were sitting.
"There were two sides, on one side was ours and on the other by Subedar Sanjeev Kumar. Suddenly, a slide happened and two members of Sanjeev Kumarji's team fell. To save them, he too went down and there was an encounter. There was a hand-to-hand encounter. Subedar Sanjeev Kumar held one terrorist closely and was shouting. His buddy also went ahead. Some terrorists were hiding and he was fired upon. He killed both of them. When we saw them in the morning, Subedar Sanjeev Kumar was holding on to a terrorist," he said. (ANI)

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