Asif Iqbal 

Srinagar, Oct 11: Two Indian Air Force (IAF) commandos and as many as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in a fierce gunfight at Hajin area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir. The gunfight was followed by heavy stone-pelting clashes and protests.

A police official told news agency GNS that acting on specific information, the cops along with Army and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Pribal Salamabad village of Hajin during the intervening night of 10/11 October. “During search operation, suspicious movement of militants having arms ammunition was noticed by forces in a street who were asked to stop and surrender but they opened fire and lobbed a grenade,” the he said.

The initial assault of militants left one Garuda Commando namely Corporal Nalesh Kumar (Air Force) dead on the spot while another Garuda  Commando namely Surjeet Miulind Khairum (Air Force) got seriously injured, who later on succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

The militant fire was retaliated in which two insurgents identified as Nasrullah Mir alias Anna of Mir Mohalla Hajin and his foreign counterpart namely Ali Bai alias Maaz  alias Abu Bakker were killed. “Two AK rifles, one pistol, 19 pistol rounds, 1 grenade, 2 pouches and other ammunition was recovered from the encounter site,” the police official said.

The police said that both the slain militants were involved in many attacks including on BSF man namely Mohammad Ramzan at his home, with knives who then fired indiscriminately, in which he lost his life and injuries to his old aged father Ghulam Ahmad Parray, two elder brothers Mohammad Afzal Parray, Javid Ahmad Parray and paternal aunt Habla Begum wife of late Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Shah.

“They were also involved in case FIR number 42/17 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 A. Act firing on patrolling party in which one army captain and two army jawans were injured. Pertinent to mention here that Nasrullah Mir was also involved in stone pelting case FIR numbers 38/2014, 44/2014 and 52/2014 of Police Station Hajin,” the police official said.

Meanwhile, thousands of men, women and children turned up for the funeral of slain Nasrullah at Hajin.

Amid massive pro-freedom and anti-India sloganeering, the funeral of the militant was offered by thousands in which two other militants reportedly appeared to pay respect to their fallen comrade. The body of foreign militant was not handed over to people and instead would be buried by police as per the norm. Massive clashes erupted in Hajin between angry protesters and government forces against militant killings.

Army pays tributes to two slain IAF commandos

Army today paid befitting tributes to two Indian Air Force commandos who were killed during an anti-militancy operation at Hajin area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir.

A defence spokesman in a statement issued to news agency GNS said that both the Air Force personnel were GARUD Commandos who were operating with the Army for operational experience and training.

In a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh cantonment, Lt Gen JS Sandhu, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks along with Air Commander VS Choudhary, AOC 1 Wing AF, paid homage to the slain commandos on behalf of a ‘proud nation’. Officials from other security agencies also joined in paying their last respects to the slain.

The mortal remains of the commandos were flown for last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours. “In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their dignity and well being,” the defence spokesman added.