JeM’s Kashmir chief among 3 killed in Pulwama encounter: Army
Security officials on Saturday claimed to have killed the self-styled Kashmir chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, who had a supervisory role in February 14 suicide bombing attack in 2019 , along with his two associates in south Kashmir who were again planning a major attack on Republic Day in Kashmir.
Qari Yasir, a Pakistani, was killed at the Hariparigam village of Tral after a day-long encounter with security forces. His other two associates Pakistani resident Moosa and Tral resident Burhan were also killed in the gunfight.
Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps commander, Lt Gen K J S Dhillon along with Kashmir Inspector general of police, Vijay Kumar addressed a conference informing that a cordon was launched in Hariparigam of Tral after getting specific inputs about presence of militants.
“We came to know about JeM militant Burhan who was active in South Kashmir from the Jaish module arrested in Srinagar few days ago. We worked on that lead and yesterday evening Awantipore police generated the specific intelligence input about presence of the three militants in a village in Hariparigam where Qari Yasir was also present. A cordon was launched and three militants were neutralized,” said Kumar.
“As per out intelligence, Qari Yasir is the self styled chief of JeM in Kashmir. He was involved in last year’s February 14 attack at Lethpora. He was an IED expert and would recruit and relocate militants coming from Pakistan. He had a supervisory role in February 14 blast. We were also getting information from sister agencies and their names were also cropping up about a bigger attack or IED blast on Republic day eve,” the IG stated.
The encounter comes just a day after an anti militancy operation ended after three days on Thursday at nearby Khrew area of the district in which an army jawan, a special police officer and a foreign militant of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit were killed.
He said that one of the injured soldiers from 3 Rashtriya Rifles has received critical injuries.
Eyewitnesses said that protests also erupted near the encounter site. Youth threw stones on security forces prompting the forces to respond by firing tear gas shells.
On Thursday, the three-day-long searches for militants in nearby Khrew area of Awantipora in Pulwama had concluded. Special police officer (SPO) Shahbaz Ahmad and sepoy Rahul Rainswal of army’s 50 Rashtriya Rifles were killed after the encounter started at Khrew’s Zantrag on Tuesday. The security forces managed to kill one of the militants on Wednesday who had escaped to nearby forests and he was subsequently identified as Abu Saifullah of JeM. The other militant escaped.
SPO Ahmad was a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu division while Rainswal belonged to Village Riyasi Vamangaon of Champawat district in Uttarakhand and is survived by his wife and a daughter. Rainswal was 26 years old and had joined the Army in 2013.
DGP Dilbag Singh on Wednesday said the counter-terrorist operations have intensified in Kashmir Valley due to which there is a lot of movement in south Kashmir. “There have been more than 6 successful operations and the operations will continue. And we will continue to work even strongly for peace in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Earlier on Monday, three local HM (Hizbul Mujahideen) militants, including a commander and a former cop involved in a major weapons’ heist in 2018, were killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Last week, a local HM militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on January 14.
Earlier on January 12, three HM militants were killed in a gun battle with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. One of the slain militants was a so-called commander, Umer Fayaz Lone alias Hamad Khan, a resident of Tral in south Kashmir.
In the first encounter of 2020 in Kashmir, a young man of south Kashmir, who had gone missing from his home town of Bijbehara on January 2 and apparently joined militancy, was killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora on January 7.
Shahid Ahmad, believed to be in his late teens, was killed in Chursi area of south Kashmir’s Awantipora in a brief shootout with the forces.
Last year on November 26, two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Tahab Rajpora area of Pulwama in south Kashmir.