Eliminated Jaish leadership that planned Pulwama attack within 100 hours, says army
The Indian army has managed to eliminate three Jaish-e-Mohammad leaders who had planned the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy that had left 40 CRPF jawans dead.
“We have eliminated the three leaders within 100 hours of the February 14 attack on the CRPF convoy,” Lt Gen KS Dhillon said at a press conference in Srinagar.
The three JeM leaders were eliminated in a 17-hour-long encounter in which a major and three soldiers were also killed. A Kashmir Police constable was also killed in the encounter.
Lt Gen KS Dhillon said that the car bombing at Pulwama that had killed 40 CRPF jawans was controlled from across the border by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.
“We were tracking the Jaish-e-Mohammed leadership. We are happy to inform that we eliminated the Jaish leadership in the Valley, which was controlled by Pakistan in less than 100 hours after the Pulwama attack,” said Lt Gen KS Dhillon.
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The three Jaish terrorists who were killed in Monday’s encounter in Pulwama included Kamran, a Pakistani and a top commander of the Jaish who was operating in Pulwama region and a key aide of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Pakistan-based chief Masood Azhar. Kamran is believed to have planned and executed the Pulwama attack and is said to have been suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar’s handler. Adil Dar was the man who had rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the CRPF convoy at Lethpora in Pulwama on February 14.
The other terrorists who were killed in the encounter were Hilal Ahmad a local Kashmiri bomb specialist, and Rashid, who hails from Pakistan.
At the same time, Lt Gen Dhillon also issued a request and a warning to the mothers in the Valley.
“Anyone who has picked up a gun will be killed and eliminated, unless he surrenders. I request all the mothers in the Valley to ensure that their sons don’t take up the gun,” Lt Gen Dhillon said.
“In a Kashmiri society, mother has a great role to play. Through you, I would request the mothers of Kashmir to please request their sons who have joined terrorism to surrender and get back to the mainstream. Anyone who has picked up the gun will be killed and eliminated, unless he surrenders,” Lt Gen Dhillon reiterated.
Stating that the army had a hard stand on terrorism in the Valley, he said, “Our focus is clear on counter-terrorism operations. We are very clear that anyone who enters Kashmir Valley will not go back alive.”
Lt Gen Dhillon said that the type of car bomb attack that took place in Pulwama had happened after a long time in Kashmir, and that the army would keep all options open to deal with these kind of attacks.
He also said that the investigation on the CRPF had given them key insights into the kind of explosives used.
“We have leads on the type of explosives used but I can’t share the details as an investigation is underway,” Lt Gen Dhillon said.
Speaking at the same press conference, Zulfiquar Hasan, IG CRPF, said that the incident took place because of an IED-laden civilian car.
“The Road Opening Party (ROP) had secured the highway. Now, the standard operating procedure (SOP) on civilian cars will be changed, Hasan said.
“Restrictions have been put on the movement of civilian traffic when a convoy is moving. We are working out modalities as to how best it can be streamlined so that minimum delay is caused to civilian traffic,” Lt Gen Dhillon said.