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New Delhi, April 6, 2020
The Indian Army today neutralised five Pakistan-supported infiltrators who tried to sneak across the Line of Control in Keran sector in Jammu & Kashmir today but lost five of its soldiers from one of the most professional Para SF units in the operation.
"Indian Army launched a daring operation at the Line of Control and engaged Pakistan-supported infiltrators in a close quarter attle in heavy snow, neutralising the entire infiltrating batch of five," a statement from the Army said.
"Four soldiers under the command of a Junior Commissioned Officer from one of the most professional Para Special Forces Units were air-dropped near the LoC after information on the infiltrators was received. An intense hand-to-hand battle ensued and all five terrorists were eliminated.
"In this battle, however, Army lost five of its best soldiers, three on the site and two more succumbed while they were airlifted to a nearby military hospital," the statement said.
The IA Special Forces squad was led by Subedar Sanjeev Kumar and included Havildar Davendra Singh, Paratrooper Bal Krishan, Paratrooper Amit Kumar and Paratrooper Chhatrapal Singh.
"Indian Army salutes the brave hearts killed in action and shall continue to protect its borders from inimical forces at all costs at all times," the statement added.
Operation Randori Behak in heavy snow was the bloodiest encounter this year in any operation by the security forces against militants in Jammu & Kashmir.
Sources explained that at first light on April 1, footprints were noticed near Line of Control where fences were completely submerged in snow. "Area is completely rigged with razor sharp ridge line and all routes are cut off due to high snow levels," sources said.
Terrorists attempted to exploit inclement weather as it was snowing since last two days. Search parties were launched. Brief contact was established at approximately 1 pm on April 1.
"Five bags were recovered, however terrorists broke contact," said the sources adding that additional troops were launched and the area cordoned off.
Trail was followed at first light on April 2. Contact was re-established at 4:30 pm, however, terrorists managed to escape by jumping off a ledge.
Search continued on April 3. Contact was again established at 4:30 pm and again at 6:30 pm on April 4.
"Based on visuals from UAV, special troops staged forward to the nearest battalion headquarter by air as the battalion is still winter cut off," the sources said.
"At first light April 5, one squad, following the footsteps on the snow failed to realise that they were on a cornice.... It broke.... They fell into the nallah...where they fell, the terrorists were sitting right there.... it led to a firefight and close quarters battle at virtually point blank range," sources explained.
The forces said that due to training standards of the Army team, inspite of the fall, all five terrorists were killed. However, the complete squad, five in all, were killed in action.
"Mortal remains of the soldiers and terrorists were found within two to three meters of each other," sources added.