STATE TIMES NEWS
Srinagar: Two top Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists involved in the dastardly Pulwama attack of 2019 were killed on Saturday in an encounter in the south Kashmir district, officials said, terming it “probably the biggest strike of the year” for security forces.
Srinagar: Security forces have killed 89 terrorists, including seven Pakistani nationals, in Jammu and Kashmir this year so far, top Army and police officials said on Saturday, maintaining that over 200 ultras are still active in the union territory. Out of these 89 terrorists, seven were FTs (foreign terrorists or Pakistanis). It (number) is lesser than the last year, but more top commanders were killed this year, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.He was addressing a joint press conference with GoC of Army’s 15 Corps Lt Gen D P Pandey and GoC of south Kashmir-based Victor Force Major Gen Rashim Bali.To a question about the number of militants present in J-K, Lt Gen Pandey said about 200-225 ultras were active across the UT.He, however, said there has been no successful infiltration along the Line of Control (LoC) so far this year.There has been information about one or two infiltrations. We have launched operations, which are on to check or neutralise them (infiltrators). But, according to ground inputs, there has been no successful infiltration or intrusion in the 15 Corps zone in the Valley so far, LT Gen Pandey said.Asked about the operation in Shokbaba Sumlar-Aragam area of Bandipora in north Kashmir in which three militants were killed last week, the Army officer said out of the three ultras, two had travelled through proper visa route to Pakistan in 2017-18.This is a design to take youth from here, train them there (in Pakistan), and then send them back as terrorists. At least 40 youth have travelled on visa to Pakistan for studying purpose after being given proper certificates for visa, but they were sent back here as terrorists, he said.The GoC said those youth who return from there in the right manner will be welcomed, but those who come back with weapons will be neutralised.The IGP said out of the 40 youth who had taken visa and travelled through the Wagah border route in Punjab to Pakistan, 27 came back with weapons and have been killed in encounters .Rest are still across, a few of them are in touch with their families. We are keeping a watch, he said.Security forces on Saturday killed two Jiash-e-Mohammed militants, including a top Pakistani ultra belonging to the family of the group’s chief Masood Azhar and involved in the planning of the 2019 Pulwama attack, in an encounter in Pulwama district, police said.
They said IED expert Ismal Alvi, who used several aliases including Saifullah, Lamboo and Adnan, was from the family of JeM chief Masood Azhar and had trained the suicide bomber who carried out the Pulwama attack which had left 40 CRPF personnel martyred.They said the second terrorist has been identified as Sameer Dar (an A+ category ultra) from Pulwama. He was also involved in Pulwama attack and figured in an NIA chargesheet in the case, they added.The February 14, 2019 attack was carried out by suicide bomber Adil Dar who rammed an explosive-laden vehicle in a CRPF convoy at Lethpora in Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, martyrdom of 40 CRPF personnel and injuring several others.With Saturday’s development, out of 19 accused in the Pulwama attack, eight terrorists have been killed so far, said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar.“Lamboo was involved in conspiracy and planning of Lethpora Pulwama attack and figured in chargesheet produced by the NIA,” Kumar said.The encounter happened this morning in the forest area of Namibian and Marsar and the general area of Dachigam in Pulwama after security forces launched a cordon and search operation following inputs about the presence of terrorists there, a police official said.He said the terrorists opened fire at a search party leading to an encounter in which the two ultras were killed.At a joint press conference with the IGP Kashmir and the Victor Force head Maj Gen Rashim Bali, the GoC of the Army’s 15 or Chinar Corps, Lt Gen D P Pandey explained the significance of Lamboo’s killing.“Firstly, it brings closure to the Pulwama incident because he was one of the masterminds for having trained a local youth Adil (Dar) who eventually blew himself up in the IED attack. Ever since, he has been responsible to continue to train people in making IED and deployment of IEDs against the security forces,” the Army officer said.The GoC said the second very important facet of Lamboo’s neutralisation is that he has also been responsible for recruiting young locals “by brainwashing them”.He was also responsible for carrying out “identification, selective identification, thereafter radicalising them and giving them weapons and putting them as the face of the overall strategy of our inimical agencies which are operating from across (the border)”.“Thus, when these recruits were taken out, neutralised, it brought a face as if the entire movement is indigenised and (it is) a local movement which is not so,” he said.IGP Kumar said Lamboo infiltrated into Kashmir in January 2017 and “since then, he has been active in south Kashmir. There were 14 FIRs registered against him. He is the main accused in one of the biggest attacks that took place on February 14, 2019.”The IGP said Lamboo was also involved in the martyrdom of SPO Fayaz Ahmed, his wife and daughter in Tral last month.“He used to train youth in IED making. So, with his killing the IED threat has been lessened not only in south Kashmir but in the whole Valley,” he said.The IGP said the time is not far when the JeM will be wiped out from Kashmir.Giving details of the operation, the GoC of the south Kashmir-based Victor Force of the army, Maj Gen Rashim Bali said there was a lot of intelligence from the police as well as the locals “about the movement and the way this gentleman has been ill-treating the locals there”.“For the last 15 days, there were about three reports of his sexual misconduct with a few ladies also generally in the upper reaches of Dachigam forests,” he said.Maj Gen Bali said as the security forces zeroed in on the location the terrorists were “alerted by barking dogs”. They tried to escape by using women and children as covers. “They opened automatic fire and started lobbing grenades.”“The idea was that while we try to save the ladies and the children, they will try to make good their escape. There was retaliation and both of them were drop dead within a matter of two-three minutes,” he said.He said the security forces recovered an M-4 rifle with a telescopic sight used by Lamboo.“We have recovered a Glock pistol — which is not there with every terrorist here. We have also recovered a Chinese pistol and an AK-47 rifle,” he said.The GoC Victor Force said this has probably been the “biggest strike of the year” for the police and the security forces. “I am sure this will continue.”Asked whether there was any other terrorist active in the Kashmir Valley belonging to the family of JeM chief Masood Azhar, the IGP said “as of now, there is no one from the family”.According to a police spokesperson, the killed terrorist was carrying out terrorist activities in P.D Awantipora, District Pulwama and district Anantnag. He was a close associate of terrorist Abdul Rehman @ Fauji @ Idrees Bhai, resident of Multan Pakistan who alongwith two local associates were killed in an encounter at Kangan Pulwama on June 3,2020. He was trying to re-establish and strengthen JeM terror outfit and utilize Awantipora especially Kakpora and Pampore area of Pulwama as a hot bed for receiving new terrorist groups and transporting them to the other parts for carrying out terrorist attacks.It is pertinent to mention that terrorist Mohammad Ismal Alvi @Lamboo was closely associated with Jaish chief terrorist Masood Azhar and had infiltrated into this side of Kashmir in the year 2017 through Sakargadh Sector. He had also visited several training camps of JeM in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has earlier escaped from many encounters/cordon and search operations including at Doniwari Chadoora Budgam on March 4,2020, Parigam Jagir Pulwama on November 19, 2020 and Kalenvan, Bijbehara Anantnag on July 7, 2021.
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