Soldier snatched ultra's rifle, killed him

Soldier snatched ultra's rifle, killed him

Militants entered through a hole in the perimeter wall of the IAF base

Soldier snatched ultra's rifle, killed him

In an act of extreme courage, Sepoy Jagdish Chand of the Defence Service Corps (DSC) snatched the assault rifle of a terrorist in a hand-to-hand combat and killed the intruder with that weapon.

The militants apparently entered through a hole in the perimeter wall of the IAF base that houses MiG-21 fighter jets and Mi-35 attack helicopters. After a round of gunfire near the entry gate, they reached the mess area of the DSC corps where breakfast was being prepared.

Chand chased one of the terrorists. He fought with him with his hand and managed to get hold of his weapon, with which he shot the terrorist dead. But the gallant DSC soldier was killed by other militants. His act of bravery was highlighted by Air Commodore J S Dhamoon, air officer commanding in chief of the Pathankot air station.

Besides killing seven gallant soldiers so far, the ranging gunbattle also injured 20 others from the IAF and National Security Guards. One of them has been airlifted to Chandigarh because of the serious nature of his injury. Several are in the ICU of local military hospital.

Notwithstanding the courageous fight by the soldiers, the audacious attack on a vital military establishment raised several questions on the nature of India's security preparedness, though IAF officials deny chances of security lapse or poor coordination.

For instance, a quick reaction team of IAF commandos was posted to guard the breach in the perimeter wall through which the militants gained entry.

Notwithstanding the QRT, how the ultras could manage to proceed to the mess area is one such question.

Despite having 160 NSG commandos in the cantonment town and having prior intimation, why the death and injury toll is so high on the Indian side is another question. “We did not what the exact point of attack would be at Pathankot and NSG was on the stand-by mode,” said Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.