Srinagar: The Indian Army today paid tribute to commanding officer Colonel Munindra Nath Rai after he was martyred in Kashmir on Tuesday. Col Rai, who won a military medal on Republic Day this year, was killed along with a policeman while battling a group of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.
Rai, commanding officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), and the policeman were killed in the gun battle at Mindora village of Tral, 36 km from Srinagar, an Army spokesman said.
According to NDTV, the senior Army official had left this message as his WhatsApp status:
“Play your role in life with such passion, that even after the curtains come down, the applause doesn’t stop.”
“He was a brave officer and was involved in intense operations in south Kashmir over the last two years,” Col Brijesh Pandey, Col GS (IW) HQ, 15 Corps, told The Indian Express.
Two militants, both locals, were also killed in the operation which left a soldier seriously injured.
Col Rai was conferred the Yudh Seva medal on the eve of Republic Day for outstanding contribution in planning and conduct of operations including a gun battle with militants in south Kashmir last year, the spokesman said.
Hailing from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, Col Rai, who was from the 9 Gorkha Rifles but was on deputation to RR, is survived by two daughters and a son.
The encounter broke out on Tuesday when the police assisted by Rashtriya Rifles of the army launched an operation after getting a tip off that a local Hizbul militant along with another accomplice had come home.
The slain militants have been identified as Adil Khan, a local resident of Mindora, and Shiraz Dar. Both were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, police said.
Some arms and ammunition have recovered from the scene of the encounter, they said.
PTI with additional inputs