Top JeM IED expert among 3 terrorists killed in Kulgam encounter: IGP Kashmir

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar (File photo)

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): In a major success for security forces, a top Jaish-e-Muhammad commander and an IED expert, who was among the most wanted 12 militants in the Valley, was killed in an early morning encounter in South Kashmir’s Kulgam along with his two other ultras, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.

The IGP said the identity of two other slain militants is being ascertained. He said the slain Jaish commander had managed to give slip to the forces four times during the Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) earlier.

Addressing a press conference at police control room Srinagar, IGP Kumar said that acting on a tip off, a joint operation was laid at Nagnad village of Damhal-Hanjipora area of Kulgam, where three militants were killed that include Waleed Bhai, an IED expert, who was Jaish commander and one among the most wanted 12 commanders, the list of whom was already shared with the media on July 2.

He said that earlier, a Lashkar militant was killed along with two others in Sopore area of north Kashmir. “He was also among the most wanted 12. So, ten more are still on the run who are wanted,” the IGP said.

He said today’s encounter is a big success for the security forces as Waleed Bhai was active for the past one and a half years and was operating in South Kashmir areas including Qazigund highway stretch. “We have recovered a US-made M-4 carbine from the slain Jaish commander. His killing is a big achievement for us,” the IGP said.

Kumar said that another militant who is among the remaining 10 most wanted is Sajad alias Haider, who is active in Sopore and had recently released a video asking police not to target militant families. “He was the one involved in the abduction of a BJP worker, who was rescued later,” Kumar added

The IGP also said that police don’t target the family members of militants nor does it indulge in any sort of harassment to them. “There is only one case where we arrested the mother of a slain militant, against whom there was ample proof. Even the court rejected her bail plea given the concrete evidence we had against her for involvement in the militancy,” he said.

The IGP said the manhunt will continue to track down the remaining ten militants who are most wanted, including five from Hizbul Mujahideen, two from Jaish and three from Lashkar-e-Taiba. Asked whether all the IED experts of Jaish were killed or is anyone still active, he said: “There is one more Pakistani militant whose name is Adnan Bhai alias Lamboo Bhai, who is also an IED expert of Jaish. We will continue our operations against the remaining ones and eliminate them soon,” the IGP said.

Asked about militancy status in north Kashmir, the IGP said that in two successful operations were conducted recently in the region, in which six militants were killed including top Lashkar commander Usman. “In north Kashmir, there are less number of active militants. Our camps are located far from each other, which gives them a chance to survive for a bit longer compared to the south. We have started operations in the north and all the remaining militants will be killed,” he said.

-ARK