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Fresh encounter in Handwara, three CRPF men killed in militant firing

This is the second attack on the CRPF in North Kashmir within a month. On April 18, three personnel were killed and two others injured after militants attacked a joint checkpoint of CRPF and J&K Police in Sopore.

Written by Adil Akhzer | Handwara |
Updated: May 5, 2020 6:32:15 am
Fresh encounter in Handwara, three CRPF men killed in militant firing The body of Col Ashutosh Sharma, killed on Saturday, in Jaipur. (Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

A DAY after five security personnel, including two senior Army officers, died in a gunbattle with militants, three CRPF personnel were killed in an attack by militants in North Kashmir’s Handwara Monday evening, officials said. Security forces also recovered the body of a 14-year-old boy, who was “killed in crossfire”.

“Three personnel of 92 Bn CRPF attained martyrdom,” a CRPF spokesperson said. The three, all of them constables, have been identified as Ashwani Kumar from UP, and C Chandrasekar and Santosh Kumar from Aurangabad in Bihar.
CRPF Special DG (J&K Zone) Zulfiquar Hasan told The Indian Express that militants fired at personnel deployed on law and order duty at a joint checkpoint at Wangam in the Qaziabad area of Handwara in Kupwara district.

“The CRPF retaliated promptly but three of our men lost their lives. The boy was killed in crossfire. Further details are being ascertained,” he said. Hasan said the CRPF was also “looking into” reports that the militants took away weapons from the personnel who were killed.

Read | Handwara encounter: ‘Haven’t told our parents, can’t even cry before them’

The boy’s family members said he had gone to graze cattle along with others from the village when the shootout took place. “He had difficulty walking. When the firing started, the others managed to escape but he couldn’t,” a relative told The Indian Express over phone.

The CRPF spokesperson said the “area has been cordoned off and a search operation is on”. A senior official in Baramulla said that one of the CRPF men was brought to the district hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Officials said senior CRPF officers have reached Handwara and that a “large number” of forces has been rushed to the area to nab the attackers.

Also Read | Lashkar regroups in Valley as The Resistance Front

This is the second attack on the CRPF in North Kashmir within a month. On April 18, three personnel were killed and two others injured after militants attacked a joint checkpoint of CRPF and J&K Police in Sopore.

On Sunday, the Commanding Officer of a counter-insurgency battalion, a Major and a J-K Police Officer were among the five personnel killed in Handwara. Two militants, including a Pakistan national, were also killed in the gunbattle.

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