SRINAGAR: Five days after suicide bombing killed 40 CRPF men, the top army commander on Tuesday blamed Pakistan for the bombing saying the attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad was controlled from Pakistan with active support of Pakistan army and ISI."
The February 14 suicide car bombing on CRPF convoy was carried out by Jaish. It was controlled from Pakistan with active support of Pakistan Army and its spy agency, ISI," said General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based army's 15 Corps Lt General K J S Dhillon while addressing a joint press conference with IGP Kashmir S P Pani and IG CRPF Zulfiqar Hasan.
40 CRPF men were killed and many others injured when 19-year-old Jaish local militant rammed his explosive ridden vehicle with CRPF bus, which was part of 78 vehicles convoy, at Lethpora, Pulwama on Srinagar-Jammu highway on Thursday.
The GoC revealed that Pakistani commanders of Jaish were incharge of controlling, coordinating, fabricating and execution of the suicide bombing. The name of Jaish's Pakistani militants Kamran alias Fahad and Rashid alias Gazi alias Lukman had figured during the investigation into the deadly bombing.
"After the incident, JeM leadership in Valley was being tracked and on Sunday evening we hit this module after receiving specific information about their presence," Lt Gen Dhillon said.
Both Kamran and Gazi alongwith local Jaish militant Hilal Ahmad were killed in 18-hour long encounter in Pinglina village of south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Monday. Five army men including a major, a police head constable and a civilian were also killed in the encounter while 10 security men including Brigadier Harbir Singh and Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police Amit Kumar were also injured.
"In less than 100 hours, we eliminated the JeM leadership in Valley, which was being handled by JeM from Pakistan," the GoC said.
Asked how security forces are going to tackle such suicide attacks in future, he said, "This type of car bomb happened in Valley after long time. With this kind of intensity, it had not happened earlier. We are keeping all options open to deal with this type of attacks.
"On killing of Kamran, GoC said, "Kamran was operational chief commander of Jaish in Kashmir. He was being handled with JeM commanders in conjunction with Pakistan army and ISI from across the border"."He was top commander of JeM, which carried out Feb 14 attack," he said.
About how JeM militants were able to execute suicide attack, he said this is matter of investigation and "investigation is at the advance stage."
"Who was involved and what was role of each and every other player in the attack is being investigated and none will be spared," GoC said.
On killing of Gazi, who was said to be Afghan war veteran, Lt Gen Dhillon said, "Many Gazis came to Kashmir and were eliminated. There is nothing new it. These cases keep on happening. We will handle them."In a strong warning to Pakistani militants and those infiltrating into J&K from Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB), the GoC said, "We are very clear that anyone who enters Kashmir will not return alive. Our focus now is on counter terrorism operations."