Visakhapatnam: A 24-year-old jawan Sada Gunakara Rao was killed along with four civilians in an encounter between militants and security forces in Khudwani area of Kulgam district in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday morning.
He belonged to AS Kaviti village of Patapatnam mandal in Srikakulam district.
According to village sarpanch Ampolu Bhaskara Rao, there had been clashes between militants and government forces near Srinagar from the past three days.
“Gunakara Rao was driving the jeep along with some civilians after counter-insurgency operations.
He was the first to be hit by a militant bullet during the crossfire. Army officials immediately informed his parents about the death,” the sarpanch said.
The Defence Ministry paid tributes to the young soldier at Badami Bagh Cantonment on Wednesday evening. His mortal remains would be shifted from Srinagar to New Delhi and from there to Vizag.
The last rites were likely to be performed at his native place by Thursday evening. The soldier joined the Army in September 2012. He leaves his father Sada Malleswara Rao, an agricultural labourer, mother Jayamma, a homemaker and three married elder sisters.
He was planning to get married this year, the sarpanch said.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir police identified three civilians who died in clashes as Sarjeel Sheikh of Khudwani, Bilal Ah Tantray of Frisal and Faisal Ilahi of Melhoora Shopian. Several persons injured in the cross-fire were admitted into nearby hospitals.