A Lieutenant Colonel of the National Security Guard, Niranjan Kumar, died this morning during combing operations. Lt Col Kumar, a resident of Kerala was a member of the bomb disposal squad. A grenade that had lodged into a dead body went off while he was trying to defuse it during the combing operations. Four jawans were injured in the blast.
Expressing his grief, Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted:
Pained to know about the demise of Lt. Col. Niranjan of NSG during mopping out operations at Pathankot. The nation salutes his sacrifice- Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) January 3, 2016
In a tweet, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said:
Deeply saddened about the loss of Lt Colonel #NiranjanKumar. Sharing the grief of family.- Oommen Chandy (@Oommen_Chandy) January 3, 2016
Among the casualties is Garud Commando Gursevak Singh, who was from Ambala. Corporal Singh, who had been hit in the initial burst of gunfire, had been married a month ago.
But despite being hit, he carried on fighting and died before medical help could arrive.
He had won a gold and a silver medal at the first Commonwealth Shooting Championships held in Delhi in 1995.
The others martyred include Havildar Kulwant Singh and Honorary Captain Fateh Singh - both residents of Gurdaspur - and jawans Jagdish Singh and Sanjiv Kumar. Havildar Jagdish followed a terrorist, snatched the man's weapon after a scuffle and shot him with it, said senior Air Force Officer J S Dhamoon.
The funerals will be held on Monday.
A fifth terrorist was killed in today's operations -- four had died yesterday. They were suspected to be members of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based terror group that had been inactive for the last few years.
The security forces became wise to their plans after intercepting the calls they made from the phone of a Punjab police officer, whose car they had hijacked on Friday, to contact their handlers.
The gun-battle started at 3.30 am on Saturday after the armed forces -- who had already secured the compound -- detected them with the help of aircraft using thermal imaging capability.
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