TWO GARUD commandos of the Indian Air Force (IAF), who were training with the local Rashtriya Rifles unit, and two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in an encounter in Bandipora district on Wednesday morning.
DIG, North Kashmir, Vidhi Kumar Birdi said the militants killed in today’s operation were involved in the killing of BSF constable Mohammad Ramzan Parray, who was shot by militants inside his house in Hajin last month.
“In an intense operation this morning in Hajin, Bandipora, two terrorists were killed. Two Air Force Garud personnel were martyred in the action. The Garud personnel were operating with the Army for operational experience and training,” said Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia. “The mortal remains of the martyrs were flown for last rites to their native places, where they will be laid to rest with full military honours,’’ he said.
The Garud commandos have been identified as Sergeant K Milind Kishor, 33, and Corporal Nilesh Kumar Nayan, 31. Kishor, a resident of Sakri town in Nashik, Maharashtra, had joined the IAF in 2002. Nayan, from Udhadih village of Bhagalpur district in Bihar, had joined the IAF in 2005. This is the first time that Garud commandos have been killed in an operation in the Valley.
According to officials, a joint cordon-and-search operation was launched by the Army, police and CRPF personnel in Paribal village, 3 kms from Hajin town, in Bandipora district, on Tuesday night. The two commandos were injured when two militants, who were hiding inside a house, opened fire on Wednesday morning. They later succumbed to their injuries.
Both the militants were later killed. While one militant was identified as Nasurullah Mir of Hajin town, the other was identified as Ali Bhai of Pakistan. Protests erupted in Hajin town after Mir’s funeral, which was attended by a large number of villagers. Over the last fortnight, security personnel have launched several search operations in and around Hajin town.