With Shameen Sofi killing, Pulwama massacre heads for closure

Published on Oct 13, 2021 08:53 PM IST

Sofi’s encounter is seen as a huge success since he had managed to escape last time when JeM chief Masood Azhar’s nephew, Mohammad Ismail Alvi alias Lambu, and local terrorist Sameer Ahmed Dar were killed in anti-terror operations earlier.

Lambu and Dar were involved in planning the Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.(File photo)
Lambu and Dar were involved in planning the Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.(File photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

In a major counterterrorism operation following a slew of targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces on Wednesday neutralised top Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander Shamim Ahmed Sofi. It was the ninth killing in six encounters in as many days but Sofi’s encounter is seen as a huge success since he had managed to escape last time when JeM chief Masood Azhar’s nephew, Mohammad Ismail Alvi alias Lambu, and local terrorist Sameer Ahmed Dar were killed in anti-terror operations earlier in Awantipora. 

Lambu and Dar were involved in planning the Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.

Sofi’s encounter comes days after Union home minister Amit Shah gave firm directions to protect the minorities from targeted killings and neutralise the terrorists affiliated with the Pakistan-backed local module. Shah had asked the security agencies to dispatch counterterrorism experts to Kashmir and bring the perpetrators to book. The Valley recently witnessed killings of minority civilians, including a prominent Kashmiri Pandit pharmacist and a Sikh school principal.

Sofi was neutralised by the security forces in an encounter that broke out at Tilwani Mohalla in the Tral area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Awantipora. Sofi, who left home in 2019 and joined the terrorist ranks of the JeM outfit, had been luring and motivating youth to join terrorism.

Also Read | Centre intensifies CT ops in Kashmir, 9 terrorists killed in six days

He was in contact with Lambu, an IED expert involved in the planning and conspiracy of the Pulwama attack. Born in Satoora Aripal village in 1974, the slain JeM commander left studies due to poverty and started working as a shopkeeper. He continued his work for almost two years after his marriage but later started his own business in 2004. He was involved in anti-national activities and was arrested by local police during a search and cordon operation.

Sofi was detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) for a period of two years but was released following an order from the Jammu and Kashmir high court. He then worked in MGNREGA as a contractor before joining the JeM outfit.

Based on credible input from J&K police, Sofi was neutralised in an encounter. The security forces recovered one AK 56, three AK Mag, 55 rounds of ammunition and two hand grenades.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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