Umaisar Gul/Sajid Raina
Srinagar, Aug 5: Three Army personnel including a local army man from Bandipora district were killed in an encounter with militants in Halan forests of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, officials said here.
An official said that the encounter broke out in Halan forest area on Friday when a joint team of Police and army cordoned off the area. “In the operation three jawans were injured in the encounter following which they were evacuated to the hospital where the trio succumbed during treatment,” he said.
“Operation Halan Kulgam. On specific inputs regarding presence of terrorists on higher reaches of Halan in Kulgam, operations launched by Security Forces on 04 Aug 23. In exchange of firing with terrorists, three personnel sustained injuries and later succumbed. Search operations are continuing,” Srinagar-based Chinar Corps of the Army said in a tweet.
The official said that the security forces said that additional reinforcements have been sent to the operation site and search operation has been intensified in the forest area but there was no fresh contact with the terrorists
Having joined the army in 2014, Sepoy Waseem Ahmad Bhat (31), a skilled footballer hailing from north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, was one of the three army soldiers killed in the encounter.
“The news of his untimely death deeply saddened the community in Bandipora, with many people visiting his residence to pay their respects,” eye witnesses said.
“His expecting wife, whom he had been married to since November 2021, was left devastated. Waseem’s last visit to home on Eid was a cherished memory for his family,” said one of his relatives.
“Known not only for his bravery and dedication as a soldier, but also as a talented footballer, he played for Iqra Football Club in Dachigam,” said, his friend.
His teammates and friends fondly remember him as a friendly and genuine person, always supporting good quality football and the footballers of Jammu and Kashmir. His contribution to football was immense, as expressed by the District football association.