Tributes started pouring in after an Army commanding officer, a Major and a Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed in action during an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday.
Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Aashish Dhonchak and Deputy Superintendent of Police Himanyun Muzamil Bhat lost their lives as the gunfight with terrorists was underway.
Several leaders and senior Army personnel extended their condolences to the bereaved families.
Taking to X (formerly known as Twitter), Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha wrote, “I salute the courage and supreme sacrifice of Army’s braveheart Rifleman Ravi who laid down his life in the line of duty in Rajouri. His selfless service to the nation will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to the family of the martyr”.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wished strength to family and friends of those killed in action.
“Two army officers and a police officer have lost their lives in a counter-terror operation in #Anantnag, J&K. They have sacrificed themselves to keep us safe. These martyrs have served Bharat with utmost dedication and bravery. My prayers to the Almighty to give strength for their families and friends to bear with this loss,” she tweeted.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also took to X (formerly known as Twitter) and extended his deepest condolences to the families of the bravehearts.
“Our brave Army personnel and a DSP have made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists in an encounter at Anantnag in Jammu & Kashmir. We are extremely saddened by their loss. Our deepest condolences to the families of our bravehearts. India stands united against terrorism,” he tweeted.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah wished strength to families of those who lost their lives in the encounter.
“Terrible terrible news from J&K. An army colonel, a major and a J&K Police DYSP gave the ultimate sacrifice in an encounter in Kokernag area of South Kashmir today. DySP Humayan Bhat, Major Ashish Dhonack, and Colonel Manpreet Singh laid down their lives in an encounter with terrorists. May their souls rest in peace & may their loved ones find strength at this difficult time,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Former Congress leader and senior Kashmir politician Ghulam Nabi Azad too prayed for the souls of the martyrs.
“In the line of duty at Kokernag, we have lost today Army col. Manpreet Singh, major Ashish Dhonack and Dysp Humayan Bhat in an encounter. It is quite difficult to accept this terrible news. My heart goes out to their families who may find it difficult to gather the courage and strength to bear this loss and I also pray for the souls of the martyr’s who sacrificed for our better and secure tomorrow!,” he tweeted.
Later in the day, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh laid a wreath to pay tribute to DSP Himanyun Muzamil.
The banned Resistance Front, believed to be a shadow group of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Officials suspect that it is the same group of terrorists who had carried out the attack on Army personnel on August 4, killing three jawans in the higher reaches of Kashmir.