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Commander 14 Sector RR Brigadier Soumeet Patnaik gives details of Kalakote encounter

Last Updated on November 24, 2023 at 7:26 pm

Since last few days there were continuous inputs of movement of two terrorists in general Area Kalakot and all the intelligence agencies were working relentlessly, to eliminate them. On the night of 19 Nov 23 a confirmed input of a high ranked terrorist leader of LeT namely ‘Quari’ who was active in Rajouri- Poonch area, alongwith one more accomplice, was received. Immediately coordinated joint operations by Indian Army, JKP and intelligence agencies were launched in gen Area Kabokot.

On 22 Nov 23 at approx 08:30 in the morning, input of these two terrorists was again received in General area Kabokot. Our troops commenced searching the dense forest where likely presence of terrorists was expected, which had some residents too staying in dhoks nearby. The place our team was searching the jungle, where some civilians were also in close vicinity, the terrorists opened fire.  Sensing danger to the lives of innocent women and children, the officer came out of his cover and pinned down the terrorists, thus averting imminent danger to the civilians. While saving the life of the residents, the officer was hit by a stray volley of fire and made the supreme sacrifice.

The terrorists taking advantage of the thick undergrowth, large boulders and inhospitable terrain attempted to break contact. Resulting in intense fire fight between the terrorists & own troops. Own troops continuously maintained contact with the terrorists pinning them down. The Fire Fight continued through the day wherein our troops while attempting to look close in with the holed terrorist, sustained casualties, three of which were fatal. Heavy fire continued to be brought down on the terrorists one of whom my was likely to be hit. With approaching darkness, more Operational team were build up to cordon the entire area and all the escape routes were blocked. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, night enabled cameras and other modern equipment were deployed to keep the area under surveillance, through the night.

Search operations re-commenced on 23 Nov 23 wherein search of contact site led to recovery of body of one terrorist who had been eliminated on 22 Nov 23. Further operations to neutralize the second terrorist, who was attempting to break the cordon led to resumption of fire fight at 0740 hrs. In the ensuing operations another soldier sustained fatal gunshot injury. Finally, by approx 1330hrs the second terrorist was also eliminated.

Both these terrorists are foreign terrorists of which Quari was one of the most wanted terrorist, having been trained in Pakistan & Afghanistan. An IED expert and trained Sniper, Quari was the mastermind of civilian killings at Dhangri in January this year and the attack on security forces in Kandi.

A large amount of weapons, ammunition, war like stores have been recovered from these terrorists. It is estimated that they were planning to initiate terror related activities to bring fear in the civil population and cause unrest in the area. The area sanitization and search is still in progress. The operations have been successfully owing to the seamless synergy between Police, Army and other security agencies operating in the area.