A single officer from the Indian Air Force’s Garud commando force had shot down three terrorists during the recent encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Hajin, in which the nephew of the Mumbai terror attack plotter Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi had been killed. The officer, 31-year-old Corporal JP Nirala, who had been injured, died on way to the hospital.
Altogether, six terrorists had been killed in Saturday’s encounter in Chandergeer, a village in Bandipora district. Last month, two commandos from the Garud Force had died in another encounter in the same area.
The terrorists had been holed up inside a house. As a joint team comprising Garud commandos and Rashtriya Rifles surrounded the house following a tip-off on Saturday evening, they had started firing, said a source in the Air Force.
Air Force sources told NDTV that Corporal Nirala had retaliated fiercely.
“Corporal Nirala, who was holding a Light Machine Gun, immediately fired back at the fleeing terrorists. With accurate and heavy fire, he killed two to three terrorists and stopped the movement of others,” said the official, who did not wish to be named. “But while doing so, he changed his position without caring for his own safety and was hit by a bullet.”
Ultimately, all six terrorists were killed in the hour-long encounter. Corporal Nirala died on way to the base hospital.
The Air Force had recently started attaching its Garud commandos with the army in Kashmir to give them “live situation training”.