Srinagar/New Delhi: Colonel Manpreet Singh politely declined a peace posting upon promotion in 2021, telling his superior, "No Sir." Instead, he opted to stay and take leadership of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, the unit responsible for the deaths of several high-profile terrorists, including Hizbul Mujahideen's Burhan Wani.
Col. Singh, who is survived by his wife and two children aged 6 and 2, was a combat veteran and recipient of the Sena Medal while serving as the second-in-command of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, a battalion tasked with maintaining security in the areas of South Anantnag, Kokernag, and Verinag Achabal, as well as its higher reaches, all of which have historically been infested with terrorists, especially foreign mercenaries.
In an encounter with terrorists on Wednesday in the upper reaches of Kokernag, four people were killed: Col Singh, in his early 40s; Major Ashish Dhonchak; Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat; and one soldier. There is still one missing soldier.—Inputs from Agencies