Army Colonel Killed In Anantnag Encounter Refused Peace Posting

Army Colonel Killed In Anantnag Encounter Refused Peace Posting

by Swarajya Staff - Friday, September 15, 2023 01:09 PM IST
Army Colonel Killed In Anantnag Encounter Refused Peace PostingColonel Manpreet Singh

Indian Army Colonel Manpreet Singh, who was killed in a counterterror operation in J&K, promptly declined a peace posting when offered upon his promotion in 2021.

Instead, he willingly chose to continue commanding the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, a battalion known for its successful elimination of terrorists, including Burhan Wani of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Colonel Singh, who is survived by his wife, was honored with the Sena Medal during his time as second-in-command of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles.

This battalion is responsible for ensuring security in areas like South Anantnag, Kokernag, and Verinag Achabal, which had previously been heavily infested with terrorists, particularly foreign mercenaries.

n an encounter with terrorists in the higher reaches of Kokernag, Colonel Singh, in his early 40s, along with Major Aashish Dhonchak, Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat, and one soldier, tragically lost their lives. One soldier is currently missing.

Major Dhonchak, aged 34, was known for his enthusiasm and meticulous approach to operations. Just a month prior, he narrowly escaped a brush with death.

Singh, who was promoted to Colonel in 2021, was given the option to choose a peaceful area for his posting.

"No Sir, I would like to be posted in my 19 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) and be with my own men," was his prompt response, politely rejecting the offer that had been made to him, PTI reported.

Col Singh always had a desire to lead from the front, driven by his commitment to ensuring the safety of everyone under his command.

He was also passionate about promoting youth development and actively engaged them in sports activities.

In the otherwise turbulent areas of Larkipora in J&K, where the headquarters of the formation was located, there were frequent women's cricket tournaments and volleyball events known as the 'Chinar Cricket tournament'.

Many residents in the area were shocked to hear the news of Col Singh's passing. He was highly regarded by sports enthusiasts in the community.

The officer was known for his dedication to the local youth and his efforts to foster a more comprehensive society.

According to woman cricketer Rubbiya Sayeed, Col Singh strongly believed in the power of sports to shape a society. He even helped rehabilitate drug addicts.

During a cordon and search operation in the Athlan Gadole area of Kokernag on 10 August, Major Dhonchak and his team encountered a dangerous situation. Terrorists threw a grenade, resulting in injuries to three individuals, including a soldier.

"This time he ran out of luck...," recalls one of the officers known to the fallen soldier, PTI reported.

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