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Day 3 of Operation Garol: Crackdown underway for over 50 hours as forces look to flush out holed-up LeT terrorists in Anantnag

Operations in Anantnag have entered day 3. Forces are using drones and fire mortar shells to bust terrorist hideouts. GOC 15 Corps and GOC Victor Force are closely monitoring operations. Rocket-propelled Grenades (RPG) have also been brought to the site of operation.

A son paying last respects to his father, a father laying his son to rest. The martyrdom of India’s Bravehearts in Operation Garol, Anantnag has sent the nation into mourning.

Colonel Manpreet Singh, SM, Major Aashish Dhonchak, SM of 19 RR Battalion, and Deputy Superintended of J&K Police Humayun Muzamil Bhat were martyred on 13 September following an anti-terror operation in the forest of Kokernag in Anantnag.

Dressed in Olive Green, the six-year-old son of martyr Colonel Manpreet Singh raises his tiny hands to pay one last salute to his father. He is too young to fully comprehend the gravity of what has unfolded and how it will remain with him for life.

Colonel Manpreet Singh is survived by his mother, wife, a two-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. His last rites will be performed in Mohali, Punjab.

Major Aashish Dhonchak’s mortal remains were brought to his hometown Panipat in Haryana amid chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Major Aashish Amar Rahein”. His last rites were performed earlier on Friday. He is survived by his wife, a two-year-old daughter, and three sisters.

Deputy Superintendent of J&K Police Humayun Muzamil Bhat was laid to rest on 14 September in his village Budgam. He is survived by his parents and wife, and a month-old baby.

The men in Olive Green are undeterred. Operations are still underway in Anantnag to eliminate Pakistan-sponsored terrorists and clean out their hideouts in the valley. Here is a sequence of events that has led to a massive crackdown on terror by the Indian forces.

Operation Garol Day 1

A joint anti-terror operation was launched by the Indian Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday (13 September) in Garol forests in Kokrenag, Anantnag district.

The official handle of the Chinar Corps took to X sharing information about Operation Garol which was launched on the intervening night of 12-13 September on specific input.

“Based on specific intelligence on the presence of terrorists a Joint Operation was launched by #IndianArmy & @JmuKmrPolice on the intervening night of 12-13 Sep in Area Garol, Anantnag. Contact was established and a firefight ensued. Two Army personnel and one J&K Police personnel were injured. Operation in progress,” said the Army in a statement on X.

According to sources, information was given by a source to the forces that some three to four terrorists were trapped in a hideout created by the source. Following this, Operation Garol was launched.

Colonel Manpreet Singh, the commanding officer (CO) 19 RR Battalion, Major Aashish Dhonchak of 19 RR and DSP Humayun Bhat who were at the forefront were incessantly fired upon by the terrorists. Colonel Singh died on the spot, and Major Dhonchak and DSP Bhat succumbed to their injuries during treatment.

Former DGP of Jammu and Kashmir SP Vaid has raised suspicion about the source who is believed to have informed the Indian forces of the terrorist hideout.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Vaid said, “It must be checked that this source is not compromised.” He said, “If terrorists were present then they would have either deployed a sentry to keep an eye out if someone approaches towards their hideout, or they saw the forces approaching and attacked them,” Vaid said.

The former J&K top cop said, “My hunch is we need to look after whether this source was compromised or not. That aspect needs to be looked into. But even if he was not compromised, there was a hideout, there was a likelihood of a sentry protecting that hideout. And if he had spotted the senior officers, a contingent coming led by the CO and also consisting of the Army Major and Deputy SP, that guy (sentry) was not on the spot, my apprehension is that all these three terrorists have targeted these officers without them knowing about the exact location of the hideout. We need to look into this.”

Operation Garol Day 2

As the terrorist group ‘The Resistance Front’, an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), claimed responsibility for the Anantnag attack, the Indian forces resumed operations on day 2. Initial reports said two Lashkar-E-Taiba terrorists including Uzair Khan were surrounded by the jawans.

A new round of firing and blasts were reported from the site of the encounter. A joint search operation was launched in the Garol forest area for two to three terrorists who were hiding there.

The security forces including the Army and local police were provided with support from small quadcopters and larger drones to keep an eye on the entire area. Senior officials including China Corps Commander Lt Gen Rajeev Ghai and Rashtriya Rifles’ Victor Force commander Major General Balbir Singh were at the site to boost the morale of the soldiers.

Heron drones with highly capable surveillance pods were deployed over the forest area where the terrorists were in hiding. Forces were also equipped with night vision devices in case the need arose. The entire operation was monitored by the Chinar Corps.

Operation Garol Day 3

Operations in Anantnag have entered day 3. Forces are using drones and fire mortar shells to bust terrorist hideouts. GOC 15 Corps and GOC Victor Force are closely monitoring operations. Rocket-propelled Grenades (RPG) have also been brought to the site of operation.

Another soldier was martyred during the encounter between forces and terrorists in Anantnag on 15 September. The body of the soldier, who has not yet been identified, had gone missing.

An intense face-off continues in the area where senior security officials are monitoring the operations closely. Forces are using IEDs, drones, and quadcopters to pinpoint the location of the terrorists in the dense and hilly terrain. Rocket launchers have also been brought in at the encounter site.

Meanwhile, former DGP of J&K SP Vaid has said that the encounters in Anantnag, Kokernag, and Rajouri Poonch indicate a new trend involving terrorists avoiding inhabited localities and increasing the use of forest and hilly areas.

Forces unveil weapons chest

Among the high-tech heavy equipment being used in the Anantnag operations are Heron drones and Carl Gustaf M4.

The Heron drones have strike capability and can be equipped with long-range missiles and other weapons systems. The Israeli Heron drones also have satellite communication capability and can operate at long distances for 36 hours at a stretch. Forces are also reportedly using the Carl Gustaf weapons system manufactured by Swedish giant SAAB.

Carl Gustaf M4 weapons system which is a recoilless rifle. Key features of this weapon system are that it is lightweight and is combat-proven. It is compatible with programmable ammunition and advanced fire control devices. The weapon gives a tactical advantage to the forces in a combat scenario with the capability to neutralise armoured tanks and protect against enemy gunfire.

The operation has been ongoing for over 54 hours now as forces close in on the Pakistan-sponsored Lashkar terrorists.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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