Army pays homage to soldiers killed in Kashmir gunfights

Srigar, Feb 15: The Indian Army on Wednesday paid homage to the four soldiers who were killed in operations against militants in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday. The commander of the Chir Corps, Lieutent General J.S. Sandhu, paid tributes to Major Satish Dahiya, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar and Gunner Astosh Kumar at a solemn ceremony in Badamibagh cantonment here. Major Dahiya, 31, led the army operation in Handwara town in which three terrorists were killed. “The operation dealt a major blow to the terror network in north Kashmir,” a Defence Ministry statement said. The official, survived by his wife and a two-year-old daughter, hailed from Mahendergarh in Harya. Dahiya had been part of several counter terrorism operations and was also awarded for gallantry earlier.

Rifleman Kumar, 33, hailed from Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir. He was part of another operation in Hajin town on Tuesday in which one terrorist was killed. He is survived by his wife and a three-year-old daughter. Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar from inital in Uttarakhand was also part of the same operation, the statement said. “The young paratrooper, who defied his 26 years of age and established himself amongst his comrades as a spirited and daring soldier, is survived by his parents.

Patriotism and sense of sacrifice ran in the blood of gunner Astosh Kumar whose father Hava Lal Sahib had also laid down his life during the Kargil war in 1999,” the statement said. His father’s death only strengthened Kumar’s resolve to join the army at the age of 19. He is survived by his mother Shila Devi. The mortal remains of the dead will be taken to their tive places for their last rites. “The army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity and well being,” it said. (IANS)