Major Ashish Dhonak who lost his life during an encounter in the Kokernag area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Wednesday is survived by a two and half-year-old daughter. The brother of three sisters had come home just two months ago. A pall of gloom descended on the village when the news of his death reached them last evening.
Locals have started to gather at the residence of Major Dhonak in Haryana’s Panipat to pay their last respects. “We were informed through telephone that he lost his life in an encounter. He left behind three sisters. He was my only son,” his aggrieved Uncle, Dilawar Singh, told media while holding back his tears.
He is survived by a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, he said. “He had just home come two months ago. We had to shift to a new house.” Along with Major Dhonak, an Indian Army Colonel commanding a Rashtriya Rifles Unit, and a Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir police were also killed in the encounter that broke out on Wednesday, Officials said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday resumed the operation against terrorists in the Kokernag area of the Anantnag district a day ago. The other two killed officers have been identified as Colonel Manpreet Singh, and DySP Humayun Bhat.
“An Indian Army Colonel commanding a Rashtriya Rifles Unit along with a Major have lost their lives in an encounter in Anantnag with terrorists in Kashmir. The off-vet was commanding 19 RR,” Indian Army officials said. In a message on micro-blogging site, X, Kashmir Zone Police said: “In solemn tribute to the unwavering valor of Col Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonak & DSP Humayun Bhat who laid down their lives leading from the front during this ongoing operation. Our forces persist with unwavering resolve as they encircle 2 LET terrorists including Uzair Khan”. The last rites of DySP Humayun Muzammil Bhat were performed in Budgam on Wednesday evening.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his grief over the death of the officers in the encounter and also paid tributes to the J-K DSP at Budgam on Wednesday. “Paid tributes to JKP’s DySP Humayun Bhat, who laid down his life in an anti-terror operation in Anantnag. I salute the indomitable courage and supreme sacrifice of Col Manpreet Singh & Major Ashish Dhonack. Entire nation stands firmly with their families in this hour of grief,” LG’s office said in a post on the social media platform, X.
Meanwhile, two terrorists were killed by security forces during an encounter that began in the Narla area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri on Tuesday. Security forces have recovered a large quantity of warlike stores, including medicines, with Pakistan markings during a search amid the encounter that continued on Wednesday evening according to officials.