SRINAGAR A deputy superintendent of police, an army soldier and three militants were killed in an encounter in Kulgam district of south Kashmir on Sunday, officials said.
The encounter took place in the Turigam area of Kulgam after the police got an intelligence input about the presence of a group of militants in the area, they added.
The approaching police party was fired upon, in which Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Aman Thakur got seriously injured in the neck. The officer succumbed to his injuries when he was being flown to the army hospital, the officials said.
An army major and two soldiers were also injured in the encounter, officials said, adding that a non-commissioned officer, Havaldar Sombir, succumbed to his injuries subsequently.
The other injured persons, including the major, are out of danger.
Three militants were also killed in the encounter, but their identity is yet to be ascertained.
A 2011-batch JK Police Services officer and a resident of Doda district in the Jammu region, Thakur was leading the police team from the front in the encounter with JeM militants.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said, "It is an unfortunate incident, in which we have lost a brave officer. He was a fighter and he led Sunday's operation himself."
Thakur was posted as the DySP (operation) in Kulgam, two years ago and had successfully carried out anti-militancy operations in the area.
He was awarded the DGP's Commendation Medal and Certificate for his exemplary service only last month.
Meanwhile, locals most of them youth took to streets and clashed with forces. The forces used tear smoke shells, pellets and live ammunition to disperse the protesters resulting in injuries to several persons.
The injured were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, three youths suffered bullet injuries in forces action. The injured have been identified as Adil Ahmad son of Javaid Ahmad of Tarigam, Kulgam received a bullet injury in his right arm, Sheikh Nadeem of Dessan Yaripora received a bullet in his right hand and Mudasir Ahmad Sheikh received bullet wound in his shoulder. Adil was brought to SMHS hospital while as Nadeem and Mudasir were referred to SKIMS Soura from Kulgam hospital. Two others who sustained pellet injuries in the forces action were shifted to District Hospital Kulgam for treatment.
In wake of the gunfight, authorities have snapped internet services in the district.
Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over the loss of Dy S.P Aman Thakur, killed in an encounter at Turigam area of Kulgam district.
Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and expressed sympathy and solidarity with family members of Thakur. He has wished speedy recovery to the security personnel injured during the encounter.
Meanwhile, Advisor Vijay Kumar and Additional Director General of Police (CID) B Srinivas visited the slain DySP's house in Jammu and conveyed their condolences to the family members.
Slain DySP left two govt jobs to join police force
So great was his passion for police force that Deputy Superintendent of Police Aman Thakur, who was killed in an encounter in Kulgam on Sunday, gave up two government jobs to don the uniform.
Thakur, who is in his late 30s, first got a job in the social welfare department and was later appointed as lecturer at a government college in view of him having master's degree in Zoology.
He always wanted to be in the police force and he had a passion for wearing the uniform, one of his close friend in the police said.
A resident of Gogla district in Doda region, Thakur, a 2011-batch Jammu and Kashmir Police Service officer, is survived by aged parents, wife Sarla Devi and six-year-old son Arya.
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh could not hold back his emotions while recalling his various meetings with the young police officer.
"He was always beaming with enthusiasm and used to lead his team from the front," Singh said.
During his tenure in the militancy-infested Kulgam district of South Kashmir, Thakur has won laurels from many quarters.
"He had been heading the counter-terrorism wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police in district Kulgam from last one-and-a-half years and had played an instrumental role in killing wanted militants in the area," Singh said.
Paying rich tributes Thakur for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty, he said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this critical juncture."
His friends recalled him for his simplicity, plain-speaking and thorough professionalism. "He was known for his determination and valour. In a short period of time, he had earned love, respect and appreciation of the locals in the area for his helpful nature and professionalism," one of the police officers recalled.
He was awarded DGP medal and commendation recently for his outstanding contribution. He was also awarded Sher-e-Kashmir Medal for Gallantry in recognition of his bravery and courage in anti-militancy operations.
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