Army pays homage to soldiers matyred in Kashmir gunfight

Srinagar: The Army on Wednesday paid homage to four soldiers, including an officer, who laid down their lives during two counter-insurgency operations in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.

Joined by officials of other security forces operating in the Valley, Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu paid rich tributes to Major Satish Dahiya, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar and Gunner Ashutosh Kumar in a solemn ceremony at Badamibagh Cantonment here.

"Survived by his wife and a two-year-old daughter, 31-year-old Maj Dahiya had led the operation launched by Army in Handwara yesterday which eventually resulted in the elimination of three terrorists, thus delivering a major blow to the terror network in North Kashmir," defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

He said the officer, hailing from Mahendergarh in Haryana, had been a part of several counter-terrorist operations and had also been awarded for gallantry earlier.

33-year-old Rifleman Ravi Kumar hailed from Samba in Jammu and Kashmir and was part of another operation in Hajin, Bandipora yesterday in which one terrorist was killed.

He is survived by his wife and a three-year-old daughter, the spokesman said.

Also forming part of the same operation was Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar of Nainital, Uttarakhand.

"The young paratrooper, who defied his 26 years of age and had established himself amongst his comrades as a spirited and daring soldier, is survived by his parents," he said.

Gunner Ashutosh Kumar hailed from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh and is survived by his mother Shila Devi. His father Havildar Lal Sahib had laid down his life during the Kargil War.

"The mortal remains of the martyrs will be taken to their native places for last rites with full military honours. The Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity and well being," the spokesman said.(PTI)