Updated: Aug 3, 2020
By Sandeep Seal
For the last few decades, the menace of terrorism has been festering in Kashmir. The Counter Terrorist operations by the Security Forces have an enduring pursuit of being guided by utmost empathy towards the local populace. The Security Forces have always aimed at minimizing collateral damage. One of the recently executed operation in village, Mej is a glowing example of the Army’s resolve to protect the sensibilities of the locals, even during the most critical and intense operations.
𝐔𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬
Based on a specific intelligence input about the presence of three hardcore terrorists, the troops of Rashtriya Rifles homed on to the house of an Over Ground Worker. As the search began, the terrorists who were in the house of the Over Ground Worker moved out and attempted to escape. However, they couldn’t find a way out, since the cordon was already in place. As soon as the search party closed in, they were fired upon from the alley between the Mosque and that house. Dodging a volley of bullets, the soldiers immediately took cover and trained their guns towards the terrorists to respond to them. In this melee, the terrorists did the dastardly act of taking refuge in the pious abode of Allah, with no regard to the religious sentiments of the people or the sanctity of mosque. Concurrent to pinning down the terrorists, the troops began evacuating the locals from the nearby houses to ensure that no innocent civilians get injured in the indiscriminate firing of the terrorists. After making a safe haven inside the revered mosque, the terrorists continued firing and hurling grenades on the Security Forces. The brave men in ‘Olive Greens’, respecting the ‘sacred place of worship’ refrained from initiating any fire on to the mosque, thereby displaying their deep-rooted values, faith and resolve.
The terrorists on the other hand, sought to leverage any damage near the mosque into a fake and twisted narrative towards inciting local sensibilities. However, their evil designs were to come to a naught. During search thereafter, the troops were fired upon from the garden of one of the suspect houses. In retaliatory fire, one terrorist was neutralized. With balance two terrorists inside the mosque, the army decided to follow restraint and explore other means to flush out the terrorists. Eventually ‘Chilli Grenades’ were used on to the premises of the Mosque and the troops lay in wait for the terrorists to come out.
As done in every operation, a number of appeals were made to the terrorists to lay down their arms but they were to no avail. The Maulvi made repeated announcements over the megaphone along with the mission leader. However the terrorists didn’t yield to the appeal. A strict vigil was maintained through the night and the two desperate terrorists were killed while attempting to escape. Thereafter, the mosque was sanitized and cleaned by the troops. Thus the clinical operation came to an end.
The civil administration and the locals hailed the commitment and fortitude of the army in upholding the sanctity of mosque. The Maulvi of the mosque, on behalf of all its members, thanked and complimented the army by saying, “I have never seen this sort of compassion in operations in my 45 years of age. All efforts were made by the Security Forces to induce the terrorists to surrender, but they did not heed. The army did not fire at our Mosque and despite three terrorists being neutralized, our mosque stands as gracefully and beautifully as ever. This is commendable and we thank the Security Forces for it.”
This is how another day at work ended for the brave hearts of Rashtriya Rifles where they gave yet another account of their professionalism, motivation and respect for the Awaam. As always, they got the job done and did it with no collateral damage.