Srinagar: Indian Army on Sunday paid tributes to two of its soldiers — Naik Dipak Kumar Maity and Manivannan G — who were killed in a militant ambush on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Saturday.
“Army paid befitting tributes to two of its comrades who had attained martyrdom in a dastardly terrorist action on an Army convoy in Qazigund,” Srinagar based defence spokesperson, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said.
The mortal remains of the slain soldiers will be flown to their native places where the last rites will be performed with full military honours, the spokesperson added.
Yesterday morning, a group of militants ambushed and opened fire – Hizb ul Mujahideen claimed responsibility – on an Indian army convoy which was on its way to Kashmir from winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
At least six Indian army soldiers were injured in the attack near Lower Munda Toll Plaza in Qazigund which falls in Anantnag district. They were rushed to nearby sector-2 headquarter of Indian army where two of them succumbed to their injuries.
Soon after the attack, the army convoy came to a sudden halt which resulted in massive traffic jam on the vital highway.
The slain army men were honoured in a ceremony at Badamibagh cantonment in Srinagar today.
It was attended by senior officials from civil administration, Jammu and Kashmir police, para-military CRPF and other agencies.
Hailing from Midnapur in West Bengal, Maity (43) began his Army career in 1997.
He is survived by his wife Rikta and a 13-year-old daughter.
Manivannan (25) belonged to Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu and had joined the Army in 2013.
He is survived by his parents, mother G Chinnaponnu and father Gopal G.
Officials said the militants, hiding in bushes and behind trees, fired at the convoy and fled the spot unhurt.
The attack took place near Hillar village when the convoy was heading to Srinagar from Jammu.
Hizb ul Mujahideen Operational Spokesperson, Burhanuddin, told Srinagar based news gathering agency – CNS – over phone that the attack was carried out by a “special squad” of the outfit.
“Our sources informed us that at least four Indian soldiers have been killed while seven suffered injuries. Field Operational Commander Mehmood Ghaznavi has decided to present a cash reward to the brave militants who were part of the squad,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson reiterated that such attacks “will continue to take place in the length and breadth of Valley”.
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), another militant outfit active in J&K, said that it will “reward” those militants who carried out a “successful” operation against Indian Army at Lower Munda Qazigund area of South Kashmir.
While hailing the “role” of these militants, LeT Chief Mehmood Shah in a statement to CNS said, “the real reward lies with Almighty Allah.”
“The operation was carried out in response to the remarks made by Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat wherein he said that it would have been better if people in Kashmir use weapons than stones. Now we responded with weapons but the army chose to escape from the spot,” he said.