Anantnag Encounter: Colonel Manpreet Singh was to end tenure with Rashtriya Rifles in 4 months
Preliminary reports suggest that a tip-off led to the encirclement of two to three terrorists in Gadool. The operation, led by the decorated officer Col Singh, was jointly conducted by a combined force of the Army and police. Unfortunately, officers came under heavy fire from Srinagar for treatment.
Colonel Manpreet Singh and Major Ashish Dhonchak of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, alongside DSP Humayun Bhat of J&K Police, lost their lives during a fierce gunfight with suspected terrorists from The Resistance Front (TRF), a shadow group of Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The intense firefight occurred in the forests surrounding Gadool village in Anantnag district, spanning the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. The confrontation resulted in injuries to an Army soldier and five policemen, with the situation still ongoing.
To note that on August 10, an operation in the same village to flush out hiding terrorists resulted in injuries to two civilians and a soldier due to a grenade explosion. Since August 5, 2019, until August 1 this year, a total of 119 Army, CAPF, and J&K Police personnel have lost their lives in terrorism-related attacks in the Kashmir zone, with an additional 24 casualties in the Jammu region.
Preliminary reports suggest that a tip-off led to the encirclement of two to three terrorists in Gadool. The operation, led by the decorated officer Col Singh, was jointly conducted by a combined force of the Army and police. Unfortunately, the officers came under heavy fire from conin Srinagar for treatment.
Subsequently, a blog named 'Kashmir Fight,' allegedly operated from Rawalpindi in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for a "surprise counterattack on SOG and the Indian Army in Kokernag Gadool in Anantnag area" leading to the grave injuries and subsequent deaths of the three officers. The wounded personnel were airlifted to military hospitals
Colonel Singh had dedicated nearly 17 years of his life to the Army and was on the verge of completing his tenure with Rashtriya Rifles, expecting to be posted at a peaceful station afterwards. He hailed from the 12th Sikh Light Infantry and leaves behind his wife Jagmeet Grewal, a lecturer in economics, and their two young children.
Major Dhonchak, a Sena Medal recipient in 2023, hailed from Panipat district in Haryana, though further details about him were not available at the time of this report. DSP Bhat of J&K Police's special operation group is survived by his wife and three-month-old son, as he had only recently married. He was the son of former DIG Ghulam Hasan Bhat and originally from Tral in Pulwama district. The family currently resides near Srinagar airport in Humhama.