Jammu and Kashmir: Police officer, Army jawan, 3 JeM terrorists killed in encounter in Kulgam

Srinagar: A deputy superintendent of police, an army jawan and three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists were killed in an encounter in Kulgam district of south Kashmir on Sunday, officials said.

The encounter took place in the Turigam area of Kulgam after the police got an intelligence input about the presence of a group of terrorists in the area, they added. The approaching police party was fired upon, in which Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Aman Thakur got seriously injured in the neck. The officer succumbed to his injuries when he was being flown to the army hospital, the officials said. An army major and two soldiers were also injured in the encounter, officials said, adding that a non-commissioned officer, Havaldar Sombir, succumbed to his injuries subsequently.

The other injured persons, including the major, are out of danger. Three JeM terrorists were also killed in the encounter, officials said, adding that one of them — a local — had been identified, while the identity of the other two was being ascertained. On February 14, in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed when a JeM terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into their convoy.

A 2011-batch JK Police Services officer and a resident of Doda district in the Jammu region, Thakur was leading the police team from the front during Sunday’s encounter, which lasted for about three hours. Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said, “It is an unfortunate incident, in which we have lost a brave officer. He was a fighter and he led Sunday’s operation himself.”

Thakur was posted as the DySP (operation) in Kulgam, a terrorist-infested area of south Kashmir, two years ago and had successfully carried out anti-terror operations in the area. He was awarded the DGP’s Commendation Medal and Certificate for his exemplary service only last month. Advisor Vijay Kumar and Additional Director General of Police (CID) B Srinivas visited the slain DySP’s house in Jammu and conveyed their condolences to the family members. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik also expressed grief over Thakur’s demise.

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