(This was originally posted in The Hindu by Vijaita Singh)
A new terrorist group on Monday released an eight-minute video about the ongoing encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch region along the Line of Control (LoC), in which nine soldiers have attained veergati so far. In the video, the group calling itself the PAFF (People’s Anti Fascists Front) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Shared on multiple channels on Telegram App, the video features a man narrating the events around October 11, the day the encounter started, in a Kashmiri dialect. The video claims that two unidentified terrorists tracked an Army patrol party for around 10 hours before ambushing their tent around dawn the next day (October 11). The narrator in the video, who is identified as the leader of the strike team, says that they crossed “Chamrer Gali” around 4.30 p.m. The terrorists claim they took away a bag belonging to an army sepoy identified as Harjeet Singh, which carried a hand-written identity card, packet of instant noodles, wafers and a personal grooming kit.
An Army source, however, termed the video as an “immature attempt at propaganda.” The source added that sepoy Harjeet Singh was alive and also in possession of his I-card. “The video has no merit. Not notwithstanding that, we are getting things verified on the ground,” said the source. Army has launched a massive search operation in the forest areas of Poonch and Rajouri to track down the terrorists involved in the killing of nine soldiers.
Those lost there lives in the October 11 incident were identified as Jaswinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gajjan Singh, Saraj Singh and Vaisakh H. On October 14, the Army said the bodies of Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh were recovered while Riflemen Vikram Singh Negi and Yogambar Singh were killed in another encounter.