JCO among 5 army men killed in Dehra Ki Gali gunfight
Rajouri: Five army personnel including a Junior Commissioned Officer were killed and one more army personnel was injured in a gunfight between militants and security forces in the dense forest area near famous tourist resort Dehra Ki Gali located on the peripheries of Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Officials said that on Sunday late evening, information was received that some militants “could be present in the forests behind Dehra Ki Gali after which teams of army and police laid a cordon”.
They said that the area where the cordon was laid “is a dense forest with half of it falling in Chamrer village of Surankote sub division in Poonch district, while the other half falls in Bhangai village of Thanamandi sub division of Rajouri district”.
"On Monday morning when a team of Surankote-based Army's Rashtriya Rifles was moving towards Chamrer from Bufliyaz side, the contact with the militants got established and a fierce gunfight took place in which five army personnel including one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Naik rank, one Naib Subedar and three Sepoys got injured,” the officials said.
“All the injured were evacuated to nearby medical facility but they succumbed to injuries," the officials added.
Meanwhile, Jammu-based PRO of Indian Army in a statement said: “In the firefight during the ongoing encounter with terrorists, 01 JCO and 04 Jawans of Indian Army suffered critical injuries who all were evacuated to nearest medical facility but succumbed to their injuries.”
He identified the slain army personnel as: “Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh (Sena Medal) who was a resident of Mana Talwandi village in Kapurthala Punjab; Naik Mandeep Singh from village Chalha Gurdaspur in Punjab; Sepoy Gajjan Singh of village Panchranda Ropar in Punjab; Sepoy Saraj Singh of village Akhtyarpur Dhavkal in Shahjahanpur Uttar Pradesh; and Sepoy Vaisakh H of village Odanavattam of district Kollam in Kerala.”
Officials said that after initial contact between the security forces and the militants in Chamrer forest area, “the contact was again established for the second time in the day in Bhangai village forest located around two kilometres from initial site”.
"Both these areas are located in same ridge and single forest cover runs from both and it is being suspected that militants who earlier came in contact with forces in Chamrer village of Surankote reached Bhangai village later in the day and were intercepted by forces," the officials said.
They said that heavy reinforcement of both army and police including senior officers of forces have rushed to the area and entire area was under multi-tier cordon.
"The ongoing encounter is one of the biggest in the history of Rajouri and Poonch as five army men got killed so far and this is highest ever loss for forces in any encounter in hinterland in last more than a decade," the officials said.