As many as five militants and five soldiers were reportedly martyred in one of the most brutal hand-to-hand combats that happened along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
As per a report in India Today, it had been snowing heavily in the Kupawara area for the past few days and the Pakistani terrorists who had infiltrated took advantage of the extremely bad weather to launch an attack.
The Indian Army initiated its pursuit in a bid to trace the terrorists when they had noticed footprints near the LOC. The areas are set up with razor-sharp ridgelines. All routes are cut off owing to high snow levels, an army source told India Today.
It was a five-day hot pursuit under heavy snow that eventually led to 5 Pakistani terrorists being eliminated as they attempted infiltration in North Kashmir. Five Indian Army brave hearts got them and also made ultimate sacrifice as both sides opened fire.
In the subsequent days, there were frequent gun-battles before it ended in a face to face combat, eliminating all of them involved in it.
The group of terrorists “attempted to exploit the inclement weather as it was snowing” for over two days in the area, sources added.
Search parties were set in motion and soldiers of the army made contact with the terrorists at around 1 pm on April 1 and also recovered five bags but lost contact with the terrorists. Additional troops were also brought in and the area was prevented access.
In the wee hours of April 5, Indian army special forces were airdropped to neutralise hiding terrorists. Based on visuals from the unmanned aerial vehicle, special troops moved forward to the nearest Battalion HQ by air as the battalion is cut off owing to the winter, said an army source.
“At first light on 5 April, one squad following the footsteps on the snow failed to realise that they were on a cornice”, they added. The cornice broke and subsequently, the soldiers of the Special Forces squad fell into a stream.
As luck would have it, where they fell, the terrorists were sitting right there. This led to a firefight, a close quarter battle at virtually point blank range,” sources said.
Despite falling down the ridge, the Army Special Forces were able to neutralise all of the five terrorists. Nonetheless, the entire squad comprising five members were martyred in action.
“All five terrorists were killed. However, the complete squad, five in all, were killed in action,” sources said. It is to be noted that the bodies of the soldiers and the terrorists were discovered within two to three metres of each other.
The Indian army Bravehearts martyred in the encounter were Subedar Sanjeev Kumar (Himachal Pradesh), Havaldar Davendra Singh (Uttarakhand), Sepoy Bal Krishan (Himachal Pradesh), Sepoy Amit Kumar (Uttarakhand) and Sepoy Chhatrapal Singh (Rajasthan).