Three JeM militants, including Pulwama attack mastermind, gunned down in Pinglan encounter

An Army major and four security forces personnel too lost their lives in the encounter in Pinglan village in South Kashmir on Monday.

Published: 18th February 2019 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2019 12:25 PM   |  A+A-

Indian army soldiers conduct a flag march on the second day of curfew in Jammu, India, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. | AP

Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  Security forces gunned down three militants in a day-long encounter at Pinglana village in Pulwama district of South Kashmir — one of whom is believed to be Rasheed Bhai alias Ghazi Umar, a top aide of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. 

Rasheed and Kamran, killed with another commander Hilal Ahmad, were the masterminds of the worst hit on security forces to date at Lethpora last Thursday, which claimed lives of 40 CRPF jawans.

ALSO READ | Adil Ahmad Dar: Diehard Dhoni fan turned Pulwama suicide bomber

Even as the news came in early evening, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who was closeted with visiting Argentine President Mauricio Macri, said “The brutal terrorist attack in Pulwama shows that the time for discussions is over now. Now the whole world unitedly needs to take concrete steps against terrorism.”

Advisor to Jammu  and Kashmir Governor, Vijay Kumar said, “Police have reasons to believe that we have Rasheed Bhai, alias Ghazi and top commandant Kamran.”

 

The slain soldiers were identified as Major V S Dhondial, Havaldar Sheo Ram and Sepoys Hari Singh and Ajay Kumar.

A head constable of the police was also killed.

READ HERE | Army major, soldier killed in IED blast along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri

Kamran was second-in-command for J&K operations of JeM, a top aide to Ghazi, who was in charge of infiltrating young recruits. They had been operational in the state training, arming and planning with local militants to carry out fidayeen attacks. 

Police say Rasheed entered the Valley two months ago while Kamran had been active in Pulwama and Avantipora since 2017 when he replaced a top militant commander Mufti Waqas who was killed by the forces in February last year. 

The forces, however, lost an Army Major, three soldiers, a policeman and a civilian in the encounter, in which 10 others, including a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, army’s brigade commander and another Lt Colonel were injured.

Police officials said a joint contingent of police, CRPF and army men laid siege to Pinglana village acting on specific intelligence about the presence of JeM militants linked to Thursday’s bombing. 

Four army men — Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, 33 of Dehradun, Havildar Sheo Ram, 36, jawans Hari Singh, Ajay Kumar — police officer Abdul Rashid and a civilian Mushtaq Ahmad were killed while DIG Amit Shah, an Army Brigadier, a  Lt Colonel and seven jawans are being treated for injuries in Srinagar. 

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  • Aruna

    Overdue.Hearty congrats.Stay safe our brave hearts.
    4 months ago reply
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