The three soldiers who died during the encounters in Kashmir on Sunday belonged to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The three are Sepoy Hetram (25), who belonged to Sonigarsar village in Bikaner district of Rajasthan, Gunner Nilesh Singh of Nagri village in Sultanpur district of UP, and Gunner Arvinder Kumar of Sariana village in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab.

The three Indian Army soldiers were among the 20 people killed on Sunday in three separate encounters in Anantnag and Shopian districts of South Kashmir. Thirteen terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT), some of them top commanders, were eliminated in the gunfight.

J&K encounters
Security personnel fire tear gas shells at protesters hurling stones at them, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district. (Photo: IANS)

 

As many as four civilians also lost their life during the encounters.

This is the highest number of terrorists killed in a single day since 2010.

At least six Army and CRPF personnel have been shifted to the Army hospital with injuries.

As many as 31 people who were part of a mob that had gathered at the encounter spot and pelted the security forces with stones in a bid to enable the terrorists to escape were injured as the police fired pellet guns to chase them away. Six of the injured had bullet wounds.

Among the killed terrorists were top commanders of the HM and LeT outfits, said the J&K DGP SP Vaid in a joint media interaction in Srinagar where the Commander of the Chinar Corps, Lt Gen AK Bhat and top officers of CRPF were present.

Seven terrorists were killed at Dragad in Shopian and one at Dialgam in Anantnag. Five terrorists were killed at Kachdoora in Shopian, Vaid announced on Twitter.

The three Army jawans were martyred during the encounters at Dragad and Kachdoora. Among the killed civilians was owner of the house where the terrorists were hiding.

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Vaid said the police chief of Anantnag and family members of a terrorist at Dialgam motivated him to surrender and he was caught alive.

The three encounters had started last evening when security forces cordoned the areas on specific intelligence inputs. AK 47, AK 56 rifles, grenades and other ammunition was recovered from the slain terrorists. Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), 3 RR, 34 RR, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Operation Group (SOG) of the J&K Police were engaged in these operations.

ALSO READ | CM Mehbooba Mufti mourns death of civilians, Army jawans

Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who was on Friday released from house arrest, has given call for shutdown in Kashmir against killing of the terrorists and civilians.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the death of civilians and also paid tributes to the three Army jawans, killed in the operations.