Saturday, May 23, 2020

Salute the great martyrs of motherland - Operation Randori Behak


Once lockdown was announced, I asked my Newspaper agent, not to deliver daily newspapers; mostly do not read them online and my watching TV is also limited – not news channels – for I am not too savvy about ‘trending and breaking news’.

·         Today read this trending news :  Samantha Akkineni wore her yellow kurta with a blue dupatta at Rana Daggubati’s engagement bash. She complemented her vibrant canary outfit with a light blue tulle dupatta. Although a pastel tone, when matched with the cheerful yellow kurta, it instantly uplifted the look. .. .. ..  Rana Daggubati getting engaged could be a news that many would read with interest but what Samantha wore ? – is that all important. Perhaps channels deliver what people read most !!

·         Remember CSK Vs DC – IPL match at Hyderabad in 2008.  Afridi scored a solitary run and took no wickets in 3 overs conceding 19 runs.   When he spoke about a foundation a la Imran, Harbhajan and Yuvraj supported though they should have exercised caution knowing the designs of the hatred monger, who has cried sour for not being part of IPL.   Later, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh expressed regret supporting Shahid Afridi's foundation after ex-Pakistan cricketer's controversial remarks about India, our PM and Kashmir.  A Press wrote – is he the next Imran ? After all he’s got all that’s needed to take the reins of prime minister’s office. He is handsome and without brains.  At one  event  responding to Imran Khan’s call to stand for 30-minutes in a show of solidarity with Kashmir, Afridi told a triggered crowd about his grandfather Abdul Baqi Sahib, who was given the title of Ghazi-e-Kashmir. Hence, Kashmir belongs to him and his future generations

The Neelum River  is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan; it starts in the Indian city of Gurais and then merges with the Jhelum River near the Indian city of Muzaffarabad. The Neelam River originates from Krishansar Lake in the vicinity of Sonamarg in  India’s  Jammu and Kashmir, and runs northwards to Badoab village in Tulail Valley where it meets a tributary from the Dras side.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday said that the security forces have arrested three newly recruited terrorists in a joint operation at Sogam of Kupwara district. A further investigation in the matter is underway, the police said. Two of them have been identified as Zakir Ahmad Bhat and Abid Hussain Wani and all three terrorists had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group recently. This comes days after the Jammu and Kashmir Police busted a terror module of proscribed organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Awantipora sector of Pulwama district in the Union Territory.

“Army Killed ultras in a hand to hand combat” reported ‘Times of India” (ToI) dated 7 April 20 at page six. This news was also covered by ‘Economic Times’ (ET), ‘The Hindu’ and ‘Indian Express’. On 9 April 20 the incident was reported in ‘Hindustan Times’  and ‘The Print’ giving an update after a preliminary probe.  While the five infiltrating terrorists were killed in an intense fire fight, five soldiers of the Indian Army  were also martyred. The infiltrators belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba based out in Pakistan. Three of the militants killed in the encounter were from the Kashmir valley who had crossed over to Pakistan on 12 and 27 April 2018 respectively. They were reported as missing as per the police reports.  Authorities feel that there has been an increase in terrorist activities for radicalising local population in retaliation to abrogation of Article 370 by Government of India.  Feel that the Nation should be reading and hearing more of the armed forces and their martyrdom.  Randori  is a term used in Japanese martial arts denoting  an exercise in attacks.  Do you know of ‘Randori Behak’ ?

In a sheer white expanse of snow, a group of Special Forces commandos are seen jumping off a helicopter in the mountains of Kupwara in Kashmir, an image captured at 12:45 pm on April 4, 2020. One of the soldiers stands waist deep in snow as the others emerge. This would be the last photo of the soldiers from 4 Para, the same unit which participated in the surgical strikes of 2016.

A day later, all five would be dead but not before they engaged and took out four heavily armed and highly trained terrorists in a gunfight at point blank range. The soldiers who never returned were part of at least two squads of Special Forces commandos who had been deployed to hunt down the terrorists. In the course of the next day, the two teams split up, while operating in close vicinity to each other. When it was all over, a day later on April 5, one of the Special Forces squads would be wiped out but not before they killed four terrorists in one of the most brutal encounters seen in Kashmir in recent times. The mortal remains of soldiers lay a few feet from the terrorists they eliminated, suggesting that in addition to a firefight, the commandos had fought the terrorists hand to hand.  

The Special Forces squads killed four terrorists. A fifth terrorist was intercepted by other soldiers as he made a run for the Line of Control. "One of the targets, who most likely was a guide, started to return back to the Line of Control. He came into the stops of the LoC battalion. He was neutralised immediately," says Lt General BS Raju, the Commander of the Srinagar based 15 Corps.

The operation called Randori Behak began on April 1, three days before the Special Forces commandos were called in. Soldiers deployed in the Battalion manning the defences of Kupwara repeatedly picked up and lost track of the terrorists as they infiltrated across the Line of Control. On April 3, soldiers picked up the trail at 4:30 pm and again at 6:30 pm on April 4. Aware that they had been detected, "the targets (terrorists) abandoned their heavy loads and were able to bolt down a deep gorge," says Lt General Raju. But by then, the writing may already have been on the wall. "The formation responsible for that area was able to successfully isolate the terrorists (between) the Line of Control (to the North) and the Shamshabari Range" to the South, he said. The Special Forces teams who were called in were meant to finish the operation.

"Special forces were dropped in close vicinity by helicopters," says Lt General Raju. "The Special Forces approaching the area were traversing extremely challenging terrain, very high snow levels and extremely steep slopes." On April 5, around dawn, the Special Forces squad had ventured onto a cornice, an overhanging patch of hardened snow with no underlying support. The cornice broke under the weight of two soldiers. "Two of the soldiers in the squad slid down," says a para commando who was in the second squad a short distance away and was witness to what was taking place.

As luck would have it, the soldiers fell in the exact area where the terrorists were hiding. A gunfight broke out. The location of the encounter in Kupwara. "To rescue our soldiers, the remaining squad went down," says the Commando whose identity has not been disclosed. "As soon as they went down, the terrorists opened fire. Without thinking twice, our jawans returned fire, eliminating two of the terrorists." "When I saw him (the next morning), the Subedar was lying on top of one of the terrorists," says the Commando.

Soldiers who lost their lives were Sub Sanjeev Kumar, Hav. Davendra Singh, Sepoy Bal Krishan, Sepoy Amit Kumar and Sepoy Chhatrapal Singh.

A minute of mourning and salutes to the raw courage of these great martyrs.
Jai Jawan, Jai Hind.

With great regards to our army
S. Sampathkumar
23.5.2020.
*photos and details of operation Randori Behak from NDTV.

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