indian army
indian army

An army officer, days after winning an award for gallantry, died battling suspected militants Tuesday in India-administered Kashmir.

indian army

Colonel Munindra Nath Rai was killed along with Jammu and Kashmir Police head constable Sanjeev Singh, while two other soldiers were injured during an encounter with militants in Pulwama district, police sources said.

Two militants including the alleged district commander of the Pakistan-based Islamist militant Hizbul Mujadheen group were also killed in the gunfight, police said.

Rai and his joint team of soldiers and policemen had converged on a hamlet near Tral town after receiving information that militants were visiting their homes in the area.

While talking to villagers, Rai, the policeman and the other soldiers were ambushed by the militants, police said.

“The militants opened fire. They were neutralized but the colonel, the head constable and the two soldiers were also injured,” a police official said.

“The injured colonel and head constable were airlifted to the Army hospital in Srinagar, where they breathed their last,” the official said.

The Yudh Seva (service in war) Medal had been announced Sunday for Rai, commanding officer of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles, for his operations against militants in Kashmir.

The Muslim-majority region has seen a violent secessionist movement since the late 1980s in which nearly 44,000 people have lost their lives, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.


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