‘Isolate Pakistan’ clamour grew on Thursday as India lost three officers of counter-terrorism grid — Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Aashish Dhonchak and J&K Police’s DSP Muzamil Bhat, in the Anantnag encounter with proscribed Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) armed operatives.

A joint operation continues in the J&K as Army, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and J&K police, are keen to take revenge for the loss of their officers in the battle with LeT terrorists. Union Minister and former Army Chief General VK Singh called on the international community to isolate Pakistan for aiding terrorism in India, hinting at even snapping sporting ties as the two sides continue to play cricket and hockey matches, unless the neighbour behaves normal.

“We have to think (cross-border terrorism). Unless we isolate Pakistan globally, they will think it is business as usual. If we have to bring them under pressure, we have to impress on the international community to isolate them. They need to be told that normal ties cannot be restored unless they start behaving themselves,” former Chief of Indian Army commented.

The calls to boycott cricket match with Pakistan also intensified with netizens saying that sports and terror cannot go together. The anger also spilled on the streets of Jammu on Thursday over the sacrifice of fallen brave hearts — Colonel Manpreet Singh, Commanding Officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles and a recipient of the prestigious Sena Medal in 2021; Major Ashish Dhonack who was conferred with Sena Medal in August, this year; and JKP DySP Humayun Bhat, whose father is a retired IGP of the union territory.

Army officials also privately believe that Pakistan needs a response for this provocation through their outsourced Lashkar operatives.

In the Anantnag encounter, joint security forces operations is continuing against a group of 2-3 terrorists hiding there. “The security forces including Army and local police are being provided support by small quadcopters and larger drones to keep an eye on the entire area. The Chinar Corps Commander Rajeev Ghai and Rashtriya Rifles’ Victor Force commander Major Gen Balbir Singh have already visited the encounter site to boost the morale of troops in operations,” Army officially posted on ‘X’, the erstwhile tweeter.

Surveillance pods

The Army also stated that Heron drones with highly capable surveillance pods have been continuously flying over the forested area where the terrorists are suspected to be hiding. Security personnel are using night vision devices to operate without hindrance in the dark, if required. Bodies of the two officers were brought to Srinagar for a wreathe laying ceremony before they are taken to their respective native places.