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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First Published on: January 3, 2016 1:08 pm
  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
                  1. A
                    Avinash
                    Jan 3, 2016 at 9:04 pm
                    US loss of soldiers are much less than they kill.. India, we almost loose same number of soldiers as terrorist. We have to have better training.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Avinash
                      Jan 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm
                      US loss of soldiers are much less than they kill.. India, we almost loose same number of soldiers as terrorist. We have to have better training.
                      Reply
                      1. C
                        csb
                        Jan 3, 2016 at 7:56 am
                        The country is is in low intensity war with PAK. We salute the supreme sacrifice by our forces. The forces should try for minimal casualty with better coordination. Peace process must not derail.
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          Bhaswar
                          Jan 3, 2016 at 9:50 am
                          Yes, Mr Rajnath, with due respect, the nation always salutes its martyrs. But, how are you, and your co-ministers, any different than the previous dispensation? Paying lip service as everything comes undone around you. Where is Mr Doval's clever master plan to pay stan back in kind? Where is the prime minister's roar that terrorists and talks, much less warm hugs, cannot go hand-in-hand? And, before you say it is impossible to ensure full-proof security, this is one attack we knew about (if reports are to be believed). Another brave NSG commando has laid down his life, like in 26/11, and yet there is not a word on how we will make the enemy pay. One would think his life and sacrifice merit actions and not mere words.
                          Reply
                          1. C
                            chethan
                            Jan 3, 2016 at 6:09 pm
                            why don't you go and attack !! lol!! It's easy to say siting infront of your laptop.
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              Sunil
                              Jan 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm
                              This attack is a shame upon Indian Defence Establishment. Any amount of Polished words using by those who are in power cannot conceal the reality of this incident. This is not a TERRORIST ATTACK. Some (presumably 6 , I couldnt decipher, may be indian media is equaly IMPPOTANT to be able to give correct picture of events) highly trained FIGHTERS came to India, and attcked Defence Installations. In the process, people who are supposed to defend such installations got killed. This is an UNDECLARED WAR, and should be treated as such. My head hang in shame, when I read that an NSG commando , a person supposed to be trained to handle such situtaions, died because of the explotion of a grenade, while he was defusing it. What sort of training these special forces are getting! What sort equipments are supplied with to handle these situations! If this is the case with SPECIALLY TRAINED FORCES, what is the position of ordinay Jawans. Are they brought up as cannon fodders!
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                ASHOK KUMAR
                                Jan 3, 2016 at 4:07 pm
                                Modi is throwing dust in public eyes.
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  Peace
                                  Jan 3, 2016 at 5:09 pm
                                  How secure are NSG commandos in their suit when they go to dispose off a grenade? There is a big disconnect here. Can someone please explain? I was under the impression that they wear fire/bomb proof suit when they go near a live grenade to dispose it off. Very sad! RIP and hats off to these true heros of Bharat. The sad part is that a country is busy creating terror in the name of a religion and trying to grab more land everywhere in this world while others are busy trying to focus on development and peace. Look at what is happening around the world! Very sad.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Mohammad Rafi Pathan
                                    Jan 4, 2016 at 2:13 am
                                    #salute
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Ravi
                                      Jan 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm
                                      Can't understand how come visitors or terrorist can enter so easily, I see some internal links
                                      Reply
                                      1. D
                                        Dumb Soldier
                                        Jan 3, 2016 at 10:40 am
                                        Wonder why the officer was risking everyone's life trying to retrieve the grenade from a dead person. Could have used safer methods. Was it urgent? Getting killed this way is seems a foolhardy and ridiculous. The nation has lost a great soldier
                                        Reply
                                        1. J
                                          Josh Tyler
                                          Jan 3, 2016 at 6:58 pm
                                          cant believe a single thing said in this article
                                          Reply
                                          1. J
                                            jai
                                            Jan 3, 2016 at 7:31 pm
                                            salute to the brave jawans who were killed!
                                            Reply
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