In a counter-terrorist operation in the Kashmir valley, late Saturday, in one of the deadliest security forces operations in the region, Indian Army lost Colonel Ashutosh Sharma CO 21 RR, a Major Anuj Sood (19 Guards), NK Rajesh (3 Guards), LNK Dinesh (17 Guards) and Sub-Inspector Shakeel Qazi (J&K police).
The operation, which took place in Handwara in J&K’s Kupwara district, also left two terrorists dead, the Indian army said in a statement.
Based on the intelligence input that terrorists were taking civilian inmates of a house in Changimulla, Handwara of Kupwara district as a hostage, a joint operation was launched by army and JK Police, an army spokesperson said.
A team comprising five Army and one J&K police personnel reached the area and managed to extricate the civilians. “During the process, the team was subjected to a heavy volume of fire by terrorists. In the ensuing firefight, two terrorists were eliminated and a team of five army and J&K personnel comprising of two army officers, two army soldiers, and one J&K Police Sub-Inspector attained martyrdom,”
The Army Colonel Ashutosh Sharma was the commanding officer of the Rashtriya Rifles’ 21st Battalion. He was a decorated officer recognized at least twice before for bravery in counter-terrorism operations. Colonel Ashutosh Sharma. A Sena Medal awardee, he had been part of several successful counter-terrorism operations in the past.