"He was a very brave officer and he had been awarded Yudh Seva Medal on January 26. And it is an example of leadership that the moment he got information about two terrorists in that area, he immediately went in with his QRT and some other people," Gen Singh said.

Speaking to reporters here, the Army chief said it was unfortunate that the officer was hit by bullets.

"I must say it was a very very brave act and also indicates that our Army officers lead men from the front," he said.

Rai, 39, Commanding Officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles, and Head Constable Sanjeev Kumar Singh from Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police were killed during the encounter in Tral in Pulawama district yesterday, in which two militants were also gunned down.

The Army Chief will pay his respect to the slain officer once his body comes to the Base Hospital here on Thursday morning.

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