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Kulgam encounter: Senior J&K Police official, army jawan killed in gunfight during counter-insurgency operation

Aman Kumar Thakur, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Operations in the Jammu and Kashmir Police, was killed on Sunday after being hit by a bullet in the head during an encounter. The gunfight took place at the Tudigam area in the Yaripora region in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Thakur was part of a team that led a counter-insurgency operation against militants trapped in a residential area.

An army jawan also lost his life in the incident.

“It was a difficult operation,” a police officer based in Kulgam said. "Militants fired a volley of bullets, and three soldiers were injured. He (Thakur) was hit in the head." Earlier, a joint team of the army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group, Jammu and Kashmir Police had launched a cordon and search operation in the area.

 Kulgam encounter: Senior J&K Police official, army jawan killed in gunfight during counter-insurgency operation

FIle image of Aman Thakur. Image procured by Sameer Yasir

Three militants have been killed in the encounter.

During the gunfight, an Indian army Major also sustained a bullet wound in his leg and was hospitalised. He is reported to be stable.

Soon after the encounter broke out, several people came out on the streets and clashed with the forces. Security forces resorted to tear gas and smoke shells to chase away protesters, resulting in injuries to several of them.

Sources said that the injured persons have been taken to a hospital for treatment.

The incident comes ten days after the Pulwama suicide bomb attack.

Thakur hailed from Gogla village in Doda district, and had been posted in the volatile area of Yaripora for the past two years. He had joined the Jammu and Kashmir Police in 2011.

He is survived by his parents, wife Sarla Devi and 6-year-old son Arya.

Imtiyaz Hussain, a police officer in Jammu and Kashmir, said on Twitter, "We have lost a very brave Jammu and Kashmir police officer, DySP Aman Thakur, in an encounter with terrorists in Kulgam. Such an irreparable loss for Jammu and Kashmir Police family and nation.

A police statement said, “We pay rich tributes to our colleague Martyr DySP Aman Kumar Thakur for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty today at Kulgam. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this critical juncture...DySP Aman Kumar was a 2011 batch KPS officer and he had been heading the counter terrorism wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police in district Kulgam for the last one-and-a-half years and had played an instrumental role in killing dreaded terrorists in the area."

Security forces during the encounter in Kulgam. Image: Hilal Shah

Security forces during the encounter in Kulgam. Image: Hilal Shah

The Yaripora belt in Kulgam had witnessed heavy casualties of militants last year. At least 250 militants, a majority of them Kashmiris, were killed last year by security forces. This area has been affected by militancy after the killing of Burhan Wani in July 206.

The encounter on Sunday was the second anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir after the suicide attack at Lethpora along the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which left 40 CRPF personnel dead.

On 18 February, four soldiers, including a Major, died in an encounter, which also took place in Pulwama. Three top commanders of the Jaish-e-Mohammad were killed in the gunfight.

The encounter took place on Sunday even as a tense atmosphere is prevailing in Kashmir due to rumours on social media that the Supreme Court is going to strike down Article 35A of the Constitution, which, among other things, bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from buying property in the state.



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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2019 22:27:56 IST