Having just returned from the unit, filling in on the events on 26 Sep – Sep has truly been a ‘BLACK SEP’ this year, losing 4 x Officers and 3 men!
…the militants on the first floor realised there was a lady trapped in the opposite house, but the brave girl had locked all the doors of the house and was in the bedroom facing the rear with a kitchen knife to kill the first SOB who came in.
After PT that morning, the unit did not break off but moved on for gun cleaning, as the guns needed to be ready for ‘after fire inspection’. The CO and 2 I/C had moved back, and were at home. That is when these militants struck. They had already attacked Hiranagar police station and killed four JKP personnel and killed two civilians. They had commandeered a truck and were coming towards Samba, they stopped 2 kms short and were coming on foot. The 16 CAV Mess complex is the first army camp that side. They shot the lone sentry, and entered the Mess from the rear. One staff quarter door was open – the shot the mess house keeper and threw a grenade inside for a good measure.
They ran into the Mess and did proper room clearing drill of throwing 1-2 grenades and spraying auto fire – this they did in the dining hall and lounge. They found no one – all YOs at gun cleaning!!! Meanwhile the 2 I/C and another jawan raced towards the guardroom at the gate, to pick up some weapons. One of the militant who had come out saw the 2 I/C running and shot him with 2 x bursts. The jawan running behind was hit by the militant who had gone up to the 1st floor of the empty G/Room block (except for one house on the first floor where a young lady of the family was alone – Mukul’s wife, and the militants did not know then).
The CO and the qrt had surrounded them and started engaging them. The two militants who were outside, ran to the G/Room block spraying bullets over their shoulders. That was when the CO was hit on his left elbow, shattering it. Meanwhile the unit had put a tight outer cordon and a tight net around the unit perimeter, and moved 5xtanks. Unmindful of injury the CO got into the 1st tank and tried to run down one militant who had come out. he dodged back into the building, and his comrade shot at the CO from the first floor. The CO was hit on the chest – by then he had lost a lot of blood and was evacuated in the tk.
During this time, the militants on the first floor realised there was a lady trapped in the opposite house, but the brave girl had locked all the doors of the house and was in the bedroom facing the rear with a kitchen knife to kill the first SOB who came in. She was guided by Maj Balwan to push out the cooler and jump down – which she did.
Seeing this, our YO, Capt Arpan Bose angry at the injury caused by these SOBs and seeing Mrs Mukul was safe, shot off 2x HE rds into the bldg, wherein one mo-bike next to the staircase caught fire. That frightened the sods and they hid between the water tanks on the roof of the servants quarter of this block – access from the first floor.
The qrts of 2 SIKH had come by then – how? One of their boys was attached with us undergoing computer course and he rang up his unit. Hence the unit and the brigade reached there swiftly.
In hind sight, they should have permitted our brave hearts to bring down the block with 2 – 3more HE rds and the sods would have been dead quickly. But fearing collateral damage the Senior Officers would not permit our brave hearts to do this, and they then took more time and had to bring in 9 SF – an unnecessary delay.
An outstanding reaction and response by the unit prevented a greater conflagration – as acknowledged by all the Senior Officers up the chain of comd. Hope the ‘GHOST OF AUG 12′ is now off our shoulders.