Recovery of US-made M4 carbine shows Pak complicity in Kashmir militancy: Army
The recovery of US-made rifle, meant for Pakistani army, after an encounter with militants in Kashmir, showed the force’s complicity in fuelling insurgency in the Valley, a senior Indian Army officer said on Tuesday.
Major general BS Raju, general officer commanding (GOC) of the Army’s Victor Force, was referring to the M4 carbine Colt recovered from the site of the encounter in Pulwama district, where three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants, including its chief Masood Azhar’s nephew, and an army jawan were killed on Monday night.
“This weapon (the M4 carbine) is with the special forces of Pakistan army. So we have reasons to believe that this particular weapon was given by the Pakistani army to JeM cadres and this clearly shows the complicity between JeM and Pakistan and their nefarious designs in Kashmir,” Raju said.
Police had said that an M4 carbine Colt and an AK-47 Draco rifles were recovered from the site of the gunbattle.
A photo of a militant flaunting an M4 rifle had gone viral in Kashmiri social media circles last week.
Raju said this was not the only M4 rifle functional in the region, and that there could be 5–10 such weapons brought in by infiltrating militants. However, this is the first M4 carbine to be recovered in Kashmir.
The three slain militants killed on Monday night were identified as Waseem Ganaie, a resident of Pulwama, and Pakistani militants Muhammad Bhai, JeM’s south Kashmir divisional commander, and Azhar’s nephew Talha Rashid.
A police spokesperson said that it was the same group that was wanted for the attack on the police checkpoint a few days back.
A local news agency in Kashmir, GNS said a JeM spokesperson confirmed to them the identity of the militants and accepted that Rashid was Azhar’s nephew.
Inspector general of police, Kashmir range, Muneer Khan said, “For the first time, they have owned a Pakistani militant, saying that yes, he is the nephew of Masood Azhar. Now, we will take up the matter through proper channels and, very firmly, request that please claim the body and please take the body.”
Officer Raju said the increased deployment of JeM in the Valley indicated that the capacity and the propensity of Hizbul Mujahideen to survive and grow have reduced.
“This void is being filled up by JeM, which means that Pakistan is apprehensive of the lower level of activities by home-grown terrorists, to which they want to add on and increase. This fundamentally tells me that the Valley wants peace, but is not being permitted by Pakistan,” he said.