Pathankot attack: NSG commando Lt Col Niranjan killed, Rajnath Singh says ‘nation salutes his sacrifice’

Lt Col Niranjan, a member of the NSG's Bomb Disposal Squad, was killed while he was defusing the grenade at the Pathankot air base during combing operations.

By: PTI | Pathankot | Updated: January 3, 2016 5:48 pm
Lt Col niranjan, NSG commando, Lt Col Niranjan, a member of the NSG’s Bomb Disposal Squad, was killed while he was defusing the grenade at the Pathankot air base during combing operations.

A fresh grenade blast ripped through the air force base here this morning claiming the life of an NSG commando, as three other security men succumbed to injuries in a hospital after yesterday’s terror attack taking the toll of Indian security personnel to seven.

Lt Col Niranjan, a member of the NSG’s Bomb Disposal Squad, was killed while he was defusing the grenade at the scene of the terror attack as part of the combing operations that continued through the night. Four other security men were also injured in the blast.

“Pained to know about demise of Lt. Col. Niranjan of NSG during mopping out ops at Pathankot, nation salutes his sacrifice,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh reportedly said.

Defence sources said Niranjan, a resident of Kerala, was killed while trying to retrieve the grenade from the body of a dead terrorist.

The 35-year-old NSG commando was survived by wife Radhika and 2-year-old daughter Vismaya. He was deputed to NSG (Delhi) 3 years ago.

“I last spoke to him in October when he called to inform me about his promotion. He was very happy. He sent me pictures of his daughter through WhatsApp,” his uncle Harikrishnan said.

Niranjan’s body will be brought to Bangalore, where his family currently resides, and it will be kept for public to pay their respects. Later it will be brought to his native village of Elumbulassery in Kerala where the cremation will take place.

Last night, three members of the Defence Security Corps (DSC) succumbed to injuries in the hospital here.

Four attackers, a Garud commando and three DSC were killed yesterday when heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists had attempted to storm the base, triggering a day-long gunbattle at the airbase, barely 35 kms from the Indo-Pak border.

Among those battling for their lives in the hospital are 8 DSC personnel and a Garud commando.

Meanwhile, the joint combing operation was still underway, a police official said, adding that the NIA had taken over the probe into the terror incident. Some senior officials of the Punjab Police led by DGP Suresh Arora are also present here.

The official said the operation will end only after a thorough search, going on inside the IAF base and nearby areas, was completed.

Various security agencies, including the Army, Indian Air Force, Central forces and Punjab Police were involved in the joint operation.

A large cache of arms and ammunition have already been recovered during the sanitisation and search operations.

IAF helicopters were also seen flying over the base and nearby areas to assist the ground forces in the operations.

In the wee hours yesterday, the group of terrorists in army fatigues had attempted to storm the base with the obvious intent of destroying MiG-21 fighter jets and MI-25 attack helicopters housed there.

The attackers were believed to have infiltrated from Pakistan and there was speculation that they may belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad headed Maulana Masood Azhar of the Kandahar hijack episode.

The terrorists were carrying Under Barrel Grenade Launchers, 52 mm mortars, AK rifles and GPS machine.

Based on intercepts, security agencies believe that one Nazeer from Bahawalpur in Pakistan was leading the group.

Defence sources said the terrorists sneaked into the nearly 2000-acre air base through a forested area where they were confronted by the Quick Reaction Team of Garud commandos. They managed to go up to 400 metres but were still 700 metres away from the area where the IAF aircraft fighters were stationed.

with inputs from Vishnu

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  1. B
    Blabla
    Jan 3, 2016 at 10:07 am
    A short reply of modies visit
    Reply
    1. G
      Guru
      Jan 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm
      Modi realizes his 56 inch chest is actually a 39.
      Reply
      1. मनीष
        Jan 3, 2016 at 11:52 pm
        Every time when India is terrorized by stanis, Indian Muslims have provided support to those stani terrorists. Enough is enough. Excluding the SICKulars, any Indian who wants to contribute to the war against terrorism in India, should stop buying things made in an Islamic country and stop doing business with a Muzzie owned store/business. You have to act and do your duty as well!
        Reply
        1. मनीष
          Jan 4, 2016 at 12:00 am
          Every time when India is terrorized by stanis, Indian Muslims have provided support to those stani terrorists. Enough is enough. Excluding the SICKulars, any Indian who wants to contribute to the war against terrorism in India, should stop buying things made in an Islamic country and stop doing business with a Muzzie owned store/business. You have to act and do your duty as well!
          Reply
          1. M
            Major
            Jan 4, 2016 at 11:26 am
            Rajnath earlier said that these losses by the forces is common. Shameful statement by the minister. If such deaths are common, then why do these ministers who have natural political enemies have security of high order at the cost of common man?
            Reply
            1. A
              Amrinder Singh
              Jan 4, 2016 at 6:56 am
              I respect the sentiments of all you but please stop comparing Politicians with Soldiers whenever this kind of incident happens.Politicians don't even deserve to be framed as Patriots.Also stan is cursed with terrorism and our country is cursed with corrupt politics and vote bank. No big difference at all. Despite of all this, our soldiers commit themselves to their duty and sacrifice their own life for people like us to whom they don't even know. I am/will stand by my Army side as these are the guys from whom you can expect the wellness of this country. Don't blame those old political chunks, we are the one who give them opportunity after opportunity to lead us. Just respect our Army and try to contribute what you can on your own.
              Reply
              1. A
                Anirban
                Jan 3, 2016 at 6:37 pm
                Lol!! Typical feminine comment. Learn to differentiate between war strategy, implementation and authorization, before commenting on a serious matter. People like u spoiled the Indian decision making mechanisms, No one having the proper authorization will wait for you feminist comments.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Anirban
                  Jan 3, 2016 at 2:42 pm
                  Where is our million dollar toys to disarm IEDs? If they can't be used in real situation, give those to schools and colleges for reverse engineering. Pathetic, lack of operation research knowledge.
                  Reply
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