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Rashtriya Rifles battalion CO among 5 killed in encounter with terrorists in J&K’s Handwara

Col Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, two Army jawans and J&K Police sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi had gone to rescue civilians taken hostage by 4 terrorists.

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New Delhi: Four Army personnel, including the commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles’ 21 Battalion, and a sub-inspector of police were killed in action in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara Saturday.

Two unidentified terrorists were also killed in the operation when special forces were deployed after the team of five personnel — Col Ashutosh Sharma, the CO, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh Kumar, Lance Naik Dinesh Singh, and J&K Police Sub-Inspector Shakeel Qazi — went incommunicado. Initial inputs had suggested the presence of four terrorists.

The Army confirmed the deaths in a Sunday morning statement. “In the ensuing fire fight two terrorists were eliminated and the team of five army and JK (Police) personnel comprising of two Army officers, two Army soldiers and one JK Police sub-inspector attained martyrdom,” it stated.

The last time a Commanding Officer was killed in action during an operation was in November 2015, when Col Santosh Mahadik of 41 Rashtriya Rifles succumbed to injuries sustained in an encounter in Kupwara, the same district where this incident took place.

Also read: Army’s summer strategy in place at LoC with temperatures expected to rise in Kashmir

Operation started Friday

Security sources told ThePrint that a combined team of the 21 RR, CRPF and the Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon and search operation in Chanjmulla area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Friday, following inputs about the presence of terrorists there.

After the initial contact, the suspected group of four terrorists managed to get away, but the security forces were on their trail.

At about 1530 hours (3:30 pm) Saturday, a fresh encounter began.

The terrorists had managed to enter a house which had civilians in it, the Army said.

The team led by Col Sharma, a two-time Sena Medal awardee for gallantry, entered the house where the militants had taken civilians hostage.

Sources said the civilians were rescued, but the team came under heavy fire in an open compound while exiting.

CO’s phone was picked up by a terrorist

Security sources said that when no radio contact could be established with the team despite several attempts, a phone call was made to Col Sharma’s mobile. The call was answered by a terrorist with an “Assalamualaikum”.

Following this, special forces were inducted into the operation.

Since there was no input about the team which was inside, the forces took extreme precautions so as not to put them in harm’s way. But there were intermittent exchanges of fire between the terrorists and the security forces.

Two terrorists killed while trying to escape

Sources said because of continuous rainfall and darkness, the operation was put on hold. However, a tight cordon was laid.

Thinking that darkness will help them, the terrorists tried to escape. However, they were spotted and, after a brief round of fire, two terrorists were killed and their bodies recovered.

At the break of dawn, the forces were able to enter the house and recover the bodies of their fellow soldiers and that of sub-inspector Qazi.

Also read: Balakot, Article 370 move changed geopolitics of region: Pakistan Army chief in ‘Green Book’

(This report has been updated to reflect that Col Santosh Mahadik was killed in action in November 2015, not July 2018. The error is regretted.)

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  1. First of all you have no sense of writing or you have lost the writing skill. There’s a lot of difference between Martyr and Killed. At least show some respect to the Martyr. You people are here doing the the things freely and living without any fear of terrorism because of our defence system. At least so some respect. I criticise and condemn your wrongly written words.

  2. Why cant The Print, media, print all 5 shaheeds’ equal sizes pictures, and write about all 5, equal space? Why no focus on Jawans? ….an ask by a Indian armed forces officer.

  3. Please do not read this filth paper the editor of this paper is Punjabi who loves Pakistan and only Muslims.

  4. 21 RR consists of 15,400 very well trained worriers. They are positioned in Kuwara district for CI operations. I wonder how 2 terrorist carrying simple AK-47 killed such highly trained and equipped soldiers.

  5. Y did they die ?

    India will LOSE the war against the Mujahids ? Who are the Indian Martial races ?

    Kshatriyas ?

    Kshatriyas are a race of cowards,wimps and weasels ! Free Kashmir and make Indiama federal nation – trifurcate UP ,make a Dalitisation and fight poverty!!

    Accept the facts !Indians are cowards aand India is a poor nation !!

    Who were the Hindoo warriors ? The Kshatriyas ! dindooohindoo !

    Kshatriyas – As per the Mahabharata, Kshatriyas were born, when Kshatriya women (on heat) “were raped by Brahmins”, w/o marriage and hence, were “born as a bastard race” with the “zero IQ and potency of Brahmins” and the “cowardice, treachery and chicanery of the Brahmins”

    SECTION LXIV – Mahbharata – Adivansavatarana Parva

    The son of Jamadagni (Parasurama), after twenty-one times making the earth bereft of Kshatriyas wended to that best of mountains Mahendra and there began his ascetic penances.

    And at that time when the earth was bereft of Kshatriyas, the Kshatriya ladies, “desirous of offspring”, used to come, O monarch, to the Brahmanas and Brahmanas of rigid vows had connection with them during the womanly season alone, but never, O king, lustfully and out of season.

    And Kshatriya ladies by “thousands conceived from such connection” with Brahmanas.


    The Hindoo Bindoo claim that Jats are born from the “Jata of Shankar”

    Jats are proven to be of “Central Asian/Scythian Origin”, and were “basically pirates,bandits and mercenaries”.

    Their only claim to fame is the “sacking of the TajMahal”, which they looted and pillaged, and made their own Jai Mahal, and their “digging up and defiling” of the “grave and bones”, of Akbar (by dragging the bones out)


    “The word “Rajput” is used in certain parts of Rajasthan to denote the illegitimate sons of a Kshatriya chief or Jagirdar.” [Mahajan Vidya Dhar,”Ancient India”, Fifth Edition, Reprint 1972, Chand and Co., New Delhi. p. 550 ff.])

    This explains Rajput history – QED !


    A race pillaged the Dindoo Brahmins and Dogra rat Rajputs, who had their Gurus killed due to Dindoo Hindoos and whose Golden Temple was under the Control of Brahmins with Hindoo Idols in it (till around early 1900s).Their Constantine – Ranjit achieved his victory only due to the American and French Generals – running his artillery and cavalry !

    After the death of Ranjit Singh his wife and sons were killed by the Dogra Rats


    As per the Gita, Lord Krishna considered Yadav’s to be “a curse on the planet and tried to exterminate all the Yadavs”

    When Krsna had killed the demons, and thus relieved the burden of the earth, he thought, ‘The earth is stilloverburdened by the unbearably burdensome race of the Yadus. No one else can overcome them, since theyare under my protection.’ … Deluded by Krsna’s power of delusion, and cursed by the Brahmins, they were all destroyed, and when his entire family had been destroyed, Krsna said, ‘The burden has been removed.’ ” — Srimad Bhagavatam 10:90:27-44; 11:1:1-4; 11:30:1-25

    As per the Mahabharata, after Krishna was killed, “his wives were raped and molested by Robbers”, and the “offspring so born”, were called Yadavs

    Mahabharata, Book 16: Mausala Parva: Section 7

    The concourse was very large. The robbers assailed it at different points. Arjuna tried his best to protect it, “but could not succeed”. In the very sight of all the warriors, many “foremost of ladies were dragged away, while others went away with the robbers of their own accord” .

    Those Mlecchas, however, O Janamejaya, in the very sight of Partha, retreated,”taking away” with them, many “foremost ladies” of the Vrishnis and Andhakas

    This explains Yadav history – QED !

    Konkani Goan Limpets

    Enslaved as rats to the Kadambas,Tughlaq,Khilji,Abyssinians, Portugese for 1700 hours ! Sample the Goan Pandoo Chor Matka Police ! A pepper spray used by an Israeli was enough to con these limpet impotent pandoo clowns !

    • Samir Sardana ‘s comments about various races of India is highly controversial and condemned. People with bad family history will post like this.Refrain from posting these kind of shameful posts.

  6. Use correct words for the Heroes of nation.
    Mind your words before using “killed” in place of “martyred”.
    You use killed for both security personals and terrorists, so what the difference between the two.

    • Death of Heroes of nation has been mentioned “Martyrdom ” . Using word killed,I don’t feel in any way discounts their impeccable service, and patriotism. In fact using of word “Eliminated” in above article for terrorist itself prooves that difference between terrorist and Martyrs has been nicely maintained. Nice article for me.

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