The counter-terror operation in the Kalakote sub-division in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is still ongoing. The gunfight which started on Wednesday (22 November) morning in the Baajimaal forested area has now entered its second day.
According to a post by the Indian Army's Nagrota-headquartered 16 Corps (White Knight) on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), the joint search for the terrorists was launched on Sunday (19 November) following specific intelligence inputs in the Gulabgarh forest of Kalakote area in Rajouri district of J&K.
"Based on specific intelligence Joint Operations launched in Kalakote Area Gulabgarh forest Rajouri, District on 19 Nov 23," the post said.
"Contact was established on 22 Nov, and an intense firefight ensued. The terrorists have been injured and surrounded, and operations are in progress amidst acts of valour and sacrifice by our bravehearts in trying to prevent collateral damage to women and children in the highest traditions of the Indian Army," the 16 Corps further stated.
The gunfight started on the early morning of Wednesday (22 November), in which four army personnel, including two captains and two jawans, lost their lives.
The deceased captain is identified as Captain MV Pranjal, belonging to 63 Rashtriya Rifles, Captain Shubham, and Havildar Majid of 9 Para Special Forces. The fourth soldier is yet to be identified.
One Major of 9 Para was also injured in the operation and has been evacuated to the Command Hospital at Udhampur.
One terrorist was also neutralised, although the slain terrorist's body is yet to be recovered owing to the heavy gunfire by hiding terrorists. Two more terrorists are expected to be hiding in the area and are using the cover of the thickly wooded forest.
The joint team of the army, Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP), and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has launched a cordon-and-search operation (CASO) and has surrounded the entire area.
Search operations are ongoing to flush out the remaining terrorists. Earlier, on Friday (17 November) last week, one terrorist was killed in the Budhal area of Rajouri, and an AK-47 rifle, three magazines, 3 grenades, and a pouch were recovered from the militant.
According to an Indian Express report, the terrorists visited a house near Keri Chaddar village for food and beat up a man when he refused to give them food.
Both incidents were reported to the police, following which a joint search operation was launched. According to the report, it appears that this group recently infiltrated the LoC.
This comes just two months after another week-long encounter (13-20 September) in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district in J&K that killed four security forces personnel and two terrorists.
In the encounter, Colonel Manpreet, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Rashtriya Rifles unit — 19 RR, Major Ashish Dhonchak, a soldier, and Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Humayun Bhat were killed.
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