The atmosphere wore a solemn and gloomy look around the military camp in Rajouri, where the wreath-laying service of the five slain Indian Army soldiers took place on Saturday morning. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the location alongwith Army Chief General Manoj Pandey. Earlier, on Thursday Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Army’s Northern Command, Lt. General Upendra Dwivedi, reached the ill-fated location and reviewed the ongoing anti-terror operation in Rajouri. Senior Army officials, administrative officials were present on the solemn occasion. The mortal remains were sent to their respective places for last rights.
On Thursday (May 5, 2023), Five soldiers from the elite Special Force were killed while while a Major-ranked officer was injured in Kesari Hill anti-terrorist operation. According to Defence spokesperson, a joint operation was launched on Wednesday and at 7:30 am on Friday, a search team established contact with a group of terrorists well entrenched in a cave. An encounter took place, the security forces killed a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), identified as Abid Wani.
Indian Army lost its five brave soldiers –
(1) Lance Naik Ruchin Singh Rawat from Gairsain in Uttarakhand
(2) Paratrooper Siddhant Chettri from Darjeeling in West Bengal
(3) Naik Arvind Kumar from Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh
(4) Havildar Neelam Singh from Jammu
(5) Paratrooper Pramod Negi from Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh
The People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), a shadow organisation of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit, has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack.
Army later issued a statement in which it said: “On specific information about presence of (militants) in the Kandi forest in Rojauri Sector, a joint operation was launched on 03 May 2023. At about 07:30 hours on 05 May 2023, a search team established contact with a group of militants well entrenched in a cave. The area is thickly vegetated with rocky and steep cliffs.”
This incident has once again raised a big question mark on the initiatives of Pakistan which talks of peaceful negotiation with India on Kashmir and on the other hand is continuing the terrorist activities. The killing of five brave soldiers has taken place against the backdrop of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s meeting in Goa.