It was in Kupwara district that Deepak Thusoo’s house had been burnt down by militants, prompting his family to migrate to Jammu with other Kashmiri Pandits. Thusoo was then 11 years old. Twenty-eight years later, Thusoo died in Kupwara during an operation against militants. He was part of a police team that, along with the Army, engaged a group of militants who had sneaked across the Line of Control near Halmathpora in the district on Tuesday.
Five militants were killed in the encounter. Jammu and Kashmir Police selection grade constable Deepak Thusoo, Special Police Officer Mohammad Yousuf, and Armymen Sepoy Ashraf Rather, Zoravar Singh and Naik Ranjeet Khalkho died during the firefight.
Thusoo, sole breadwinner of the family, is survived by wife Sweety, son Aman, daughter Palak and mother Pushpa Devi. While Aman studies in Class X, Palak is in Class V. The family lives in a two-room tenement for Kashmiri Pandit migrants at Jagti.
Aman said he came to know of his father’s death through a Facebook post Wednesday evening, but did not inform his mother and grandmother that night, in view of his grandmother’s poor health. The news was conveyed to them by his maternal uncle Sanjay Kumar Thursday morning.
After militants burnt their house in Karihama area of Kupwara, Pushpa Devi decided to migrate to Jammu. Thusoo was appointed in police as a constable on compassionate grounds in 2000 in place of his father Dwarka Nath, who had died while training as ASI at the Police Training Academy in Phillaur, Punjab, 37 years ago.