Two of Five Militants Killed in Keran Sector Are Our Missing Sons, Claim South Kashmir Families
Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow
SRINAGAR, APRIL 8— The Keran operation has taken a new turn after two families of south Kashmir claimed that two of the five slain militants were their missing sons.
Five newly infiltrated militants and an equal number of commandos were killed in a five-day-long gunfight at the Rangdori forest along the Line in Keran sector last week. Five commandos killed on the Line of Control (LoC) belonged to elite 4 Para (Special Forces) which had carried out surgical strikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in September 2016.
The fierce gunfight broke out on Saturday evening at snowbound when the army was combing the dense forest area for the fourth consecutive day to locate a group of infiltrators, who had managed to give a slip after a brief exchange of fire on April 1.
However, two families from Shopian and Kulgam have come forward to claim that two of the slain are their sons. They have identified the duo as Sajad Ahmad Hurrah of Daramdora, Keegam in Shopian district and Sartaj Ahmad Dar of Hangir, Yaryipora in Kulgam district. Hurrah was missing since April 2018 while Dar was missing since December 2017.
“My nephew went missing in 2018. He called up us from Delhi before he went missing. We had no information about him till now. A few days ago some people informed us that he has been killed on the border,” said Shiraz Ahmad Hurrah, uncle of slain Sajad Ahmad Hurrah.
Police sources said both militants had gone to Pakistan on a valid passport. Soon after, they joined a militant outfit and underwent arms training in Pakistan.
However, police and army are yet to confirm that the two slain militants are Kashmiris. They have however decided to match the DNA of militants with the families for confirmation. Sources said bodies of all the five militants were buried at the forward location along the LOC.
“It was a difficult operation as you know. We faced difficulties in conducting the burial formalities (of the slain militants) though we buried them as per the Islamic rights. We have collected the DNA samples and will identify them soon”, said SSP Kupwara Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar.
The SSP said that no one from Kashmir had approached him to claim the militants’ bodies.
Lieutenant General BS Raju, General Officer Commanding, 15 Corps said operation Rangdoori Behak was carried out for over five days in which they were successful in naturalizing five militants who had infiltrated from across.
“Upfront I must compliment my men who have completed this operation despite extremely challenging terrain and weather conditions. The infiltration happened in the early hours of April 1. This particular bid was detected by the battalion deployed along the LOC”, he said.
Braving extremely challenging conditions, the troops were able to make contact with militants at approximately 1300 hours. “In the brief firefight, militants abandoned their heavy loads and rolled down the deep gorge. By late evening the formation was successful in isolating the militants. Over the next two days, formations conducted multiple helicopter and UAV sorties to get situational awareness. They also used this time to isolate the militants both from east and west”, he said.
Lieutenant General Raju said Special Forces were dropped in the vicinity by helicopters. “The special forces were approaching the target while traversing extremely challenging terrain in high snow level on extremely steep slopes”, he said.