"Valour, Sacrifice Won't Be Forgotten": PM On Soldiers, Cop Killed In J&K

PM Narendra Modi Tweet: The five-member team, which included decorated army officer Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, rescued several civilians, according to an official statement, before they came under fire. Two terrorists were also killed during the security operation

'Valour, Sacrifice Won't Be Forgotten': PM On Soldiers, Cop Killed In J&K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted this afternoon on Handwara encounter. (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi this afternoon paid rich tributes to the five security personnel who were killed in action in Jammu and Kashmir's Handwara town during a joint anti-terrorist operation by the armed forces and the J&K Police. "Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten," PM Modi tweeted.

All five personnel of a joint operations team - two senior army officers, two soldiers and a policeman - were killed after they came under heavy fire from the terrorists during the encounter in the Handwara area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, about 70 km from capital Srinagar, which began on Saturday and continued late night.

"Tributes to our courageous soldiers and security personnel martyred in Handwara. Their valour and sacrifice will never be forgotten. They served the nation with utmost dedication and worked tirelessly to protect our citizens. Condolences to their families and friends," PM Modi tweeted.

The five-member team, which included decorated army officer Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, rescued several civilians, according to an official statement, before they came under fire. Two terrorists were also killed during the security operation. Another senior army officer - Major Anuj Sood - was killed during the operation.

In his tribute on Twitter, Home Minister Amit Shah wrote: "I bow to our soldiers and security personnel martyred while protecting our motherland during an encounter with terrorists in Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir. Nation will always remain indebted to their supreme sacrifice. My deepest condolences to their bereaved families."

This morning, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: "India stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of these brave martyrs."

In another tweet, he wrote: "The loss of our soldiers and security personnel in Handwara(J&K) is deeply disturbing and painful. They showed exemplary courage in their fight against the terrorists and made supreme sacrifice while serving the country. We will never forget their bravery and sacrifice." 

"Operations in Handwara, J&K highlight the determination of the security forces to safeguard the lives of the people," Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said in a statement. 

Chief of the Army Staff General MM Naravane and all ranks of Indian army also admired the "supreme sacrifice" of the joint team. "This operation exemplified true tradition and strong determination of the #SecurityForces to safeguard the lives of own citizens. The Commanding Officer leading from the front along with others is testimony to the motto of Service before Self," a tweet by the Indian Army read. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has announced a government job and Rs 10 lakh compensation for family of the soldier from his state - Naik Rajesh Kumar - who was a part of the Handwara operation.  

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