Several Army and police officials were injured on Monday during an encounter at Pinglan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. According to reports, Brigadier Harbir Singh of 12 Sector Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police South Kashmir range - Amit Kumar, a Lieutenant colonel, a Captain, and a sub-inspector have sustained injuries. Amit Kumar has been shifted to Army hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.
According to reports, Kumar has received a gunshot wound in the abdomen, and the Brigader Commander was hurt in the leg. The names of the other Army and police officials injured were not immediately known. All the injured are stable, officials said. Four army personnel also lost their lives in the exchange of fire. The army men killed in the encounter have been identified as Major VS Dhoundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram, Sepoy Ajay Kumar and Sepoy Hari Singh. Besides the military personnel, one civilian was also killed during the gun battle. Head Constable Ab Rasheed Jammu and Kashmir Police was also killed in the encounter.
Three terrorists have been gunned down by the security forces in the encounter. The encounter, which began late on Sunday night, has ended.
There are reports that internet services have been suspended in and around Pinglan. The forces had got a specific tip-off about two-three terrorists. The site of the ongoing gun battle is barely 10 km away from the February 14 blast site on the National Highway 1A, which claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel.
One of the terrorists killed has been identified as Hilal Ahmed, a local believed to be from the Jaish-e-Mohammed, officials said.
It was a joint operation launched by the Indian Army, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF. The encounter came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Indian armed forces have been given "free hand" to decimate the terrorists in the aftermath of the Pulwama blast. India has been saying the non-state actors in Pakistan such as Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are sending sponsoring terror activities targeting India, especially Jammu and Kashmir.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation during the night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the area, a police official recounted. Terrorists fired at forces as the searches got underway, triggering a gun battle, officials said.
The Jaish has claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack that targeted a convoy of 78 vehicles on its way from Jammu to Srinagar. About 2,500 CRPF personnel were on their way to the Valley, many returning to work after leave.