Joined by officials from the other security forces operating in the Valley, the Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen JS Sandhu paid rich tributes to Major Satish Dahiya, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, Paratrooper Dharmender Kumar and Gunner Astosh Kumar in a solemn wreath laying ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar, he said. He said, "survived by his wife and a two-year-old daughter, the 31-year-old Major Dahiya had lead the operation launched by Army in Handwara yesterday which eventually resulted in the killing of three militants thus delivering a major blow to the militant network in north Kashmir." “The officer had been part of several counter militant operations and was awarded for gallantry earlier. He hailed from Mahendergarh, Haryana,” Col Kalia said.
He said a true son of the soil, 33-year-old Rifleman Ravi Kumar hailed from Samba in J&K and was part of another operation in Hajin, Bandipur yesterday in which one militant was killed. “Rifleman Kumar is survived by his wife and a three years old daughter,” he added. The defence ministry spokesperson said Ptr Dharmender Kumar, a resident of Nainital, Uttarakhand, was also a part of the same operation group. “The young paratrooper, who defied his 26 years of age and had established himself, amongst his comrades, as a spirited and daring soldier, is survived by his parents,” he said.
Col Kalia said patriotism and sense of sacrifice ran in the blood of Gnr Astosh Kumar whose father Hav Lal Sahib had also laid down his life during the Kargil war in 1999 when he was barely a seven-year-old child. “His father’s sacrifice only strengthened his resolve to join the Army which he did at the tender age of 19 years. The martyr hailed from Jaunpur, UP and is survived by his mother, Shila Devi,” he added. Col Kalia said the mortal remains of the martyrs will be taken to their native places for last rites with full military honours. “The Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families and remains committed to their dignity and well being,” he added. (UNI)