Wife of Colonel Ashutosh Sharma who was martyred while fighting terrorists in Handwara of Jammu and Kashmir last week scattered his ashes at the South West Army command in Jaipur on Friday morning. Pallavi Sharma, had earlier said that she will not shed tears for her fallen husband as she was a proud wife whose husband died while protecting the country. “I will not shed tears on his martyrdom. It is an honour to be sacrificed for the country,” she had said.
Colonel Sharma was a Commanding Officer of the Indian Army’s 21 Rashtriya Rifles. He laid down his life in an encounter operation to eliminate Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists reported to be hidden in a cattle shed. Along with him, four more security personnel were martyred in the Chanjmulla area of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara District.
The state of Rajasthan honored the fallen jawan who died during a counter-terrorism operation in Handwara. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and family members of the martyr performed a wreath-laying ceremony and paid their last respects to him at 61 Cavalry location, Jaipur Military station here.
On 2nd May 2020, at around 3:30 PM, an encounter started between the Forces and terrorists in the Chanjumullah area of Handwara in Kupwara, North Kashmir. Towards evening, reports started pouring in that two senior Army personnel including a Colonel-rank officer and a Major were trapped in a house with two Pakistani terrorists. The senior officers soon lost contact with the team. Soon, they lost contact with the unit.
As per reports, the terrorists were found hiding in a cowshed. The Forces were reportedly acting on a tipoff that terrorists were present in the Rajwar forests area. The special operations group of police surrounded the house the terrorists were hiding in and an encounter followed. As of now, the reports are that five security personnel have lost their lives while two terrorists were killed. All 5 members of the original team including Commanding Officer 21 RR Col Ashutosh Sharma, Maj Anuj Sood, Police Sub Inspector Shakeel Qazi, one Lc Naik, and one rifleman have been martyred.
As per reports, when no radio contact could be established with the team, the unit called Colonel Sharma’s mobile phone. The call was answered by a terrorist who responded with an ‘Assalamalaikum’.
Two terrorists, including top Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Haider were killed by the security forces. The identify of other terrorist is yet to be ascertained.