Army Announces Elimination Of JeM Leadership Within 100 Hours Of Pulwama Attack

The Indian Army on Tuesday announced the elimination of Jaish-e-Mohammad leadership within less than 100 hours after the Pulwama attack. 

The announcement was made by Corps Commander of Chinar Corps Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon in a joint press with the J&K Police and CRPF a day after a three JeM terrorists, including the commander who plotted the Pulwama attack, were killed in a fierce 16-hour encounter.

KJS Dhillon also warned that “anyone who has picked up a gun will be killed and eliminated”, urging mothers in Kashmir to ensure their sons abandon militancy. “In a Kashmiri society, a mother has a great role to play. Through you, I would request the mothers of Kashmir to please request their sons who have joined terrorism to surrender and get back to mainstream. Anyone who has picked up the gun will be killed and eliminated, unless he surrenders.”

Lieutenant-General Dhillon added that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency was involved in the attack. “We were tracking down top leadership since the attack. It was being controlled from across by ISI and JeM commanders,” he told reporters.

Three Jaish terrorists, including two top commanders believed to be behind the Pulwama terror attack, were killed in Monday’s encounter, in which an Army major and four security forces personnel were martyred and a civilian killed in crossfire. Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir) Amit Kumar, a Brigadier, a Lt. Colonel, a Major and four other ranks of the Army unit which carried out the operation also suffered injuries.

Two of the slain terrorists were identified as Kamran and Abdul Rasheed alias Ghazi, the so-called divisional commanders of Jaish-e-Mohammed for Pulwama, Tral and Awantipora areas of South Kashmir. The third one was Hilal, a resident of Pinglena in Pulwama.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had been on the lookout for Ghazi and Kamran after a suicide bomber belonging to the terror group drove his explosives-laden vehicle and detonated himself near a bus carrying CRPF jawans in Lethpora in Pulwama last week.

The Jaish claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack that targeted a convoy of 78 vehicles on its way from Jammu to Srinagar. About 2,500 CRPF personnel were on their way to the valley, many returning to work after leave.

A police spokesman said that all the three terrorists were wanted by the law enforcement agencies for their involvement in a series of terror crimes, including attacks on security establishments, and civilian atrocities.

Kamran had taken over as the operational commander of JeM after Mufti Waqas, who was killed in an encounter in February last year. “His role in the recent terror attack on CRPF at Lethpora is being probed as well,” PTI quoted a defence spokesman as saying.

Pulwama Suicide Bomber Adil Inspired By Taliban Victory Over US Withdrawal

The withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan led to the declaration of victory by the Taliban. This inspired Adil Ahmed Dar from Pulwama to become a suicide bomber. Not much later after the traumatising attack, Telegram channels were blazing with two videos and one photo of a youth who held the responsibility. One of the videos was in Kashmiri and the other in Urdu had a ‘martyrdom’ message of Adil. The videos seem to have been shot in advance by Jaish, prior to the attacks. 

Claiming to be from Jaish-e—Mohammed, the youth identified himself as Adil Ahmed Dar alias Waqas Commander from Gandibagh, Kakapora area in Pulwama. Police sources confirmed Adil as the suspected suicide bomber who drove an explosive laden Scorpio and rammed it into a CRPF bus.

A fair-complexioned young man with a stubble and short hair, Adil, in both the videos, is seen holding an M4 carbine and a Browning pistol. An AK47 assault rifle is kept on his left and a sniper rifle with a night sight scope can be seen on the right. There are ten grenades and equal number of magazines. The videos have been shot with a Jaish-e-Mohammed banner in the backdrop. 

Police sources confirmed the claim made by Adil that he joined Jaish-e-Mohammad a year ago. “After waiting for an entire year, I got the chance to do what I joined the Jaish for,” he is heard saying in both the videos. 

“By the time this video reaches you, I will be enjoying in heaven… This is my last message for the people of Kashmir,” Adil is heard saying. He exhorted the Kashmiri youth to wage jihad against India and for Islam. “Jaish has kept the flame alive and stayed put in adverse circumstances.. Come, join the group and prepare for one last fight,” Adil says in a heavily accented boyish voice.

In the Kashmiri language video, it is Adil’s picture and voice over, repeating almost the same message except for a few variations. He asks his family, friends and relatives “to celebrate his martyrdom for Islam” the way they celebrate weddings. Adil also gives Kashmiri youth Islamic sermons, urging women to wear veil and boys not to fall in love. 

Interestingly, the video after every minute is interrupted by an American female automated voice warning, “created with free version, for non-commercial use” indicating Jaish’s access to high technology and social media machinery. A large number of social media accounts, based in Kashmir and Pakistan, became active soon after the attack, rejoicing Jaish’s daredevil act. 

Towards the end, in the Kashmiri video, Adil says that Muslims across the world need to be freed from foreign occupiers, by way of martyrdom. He underlines the success of jihad waged by Taliban, which he claims ensured the defeat of the US in Afghanistan. The freedom of Muslims in Kashmir, he said, can be attained only by “martyrdom”.

Security Forces Counter Major Terror Attack On Army Camp, Uri

The security forces countered a major terror attack in Uri, Jammu & Kashmir. The attacks took place on Monday over an Army Artillery Unit at Rajarwani in Uri border town. Some suspicious activities were noted by the security personnel at the Army Artillery Unit nearby the camp late at night. The security then opened fire to smash any probable attack. 

Unconfirmed reports said that at least two terrorists have been killed in the firing by the security personnel.

The entire area has been cordoned off and a major combing and search operation is underway.

The search is being conducted jointly by the J&K Police and the Army.

A J&K Police spokesman said, “During night hours, the guards at Army Artillery Unit at Rajarwani in Uri detected some suspicious movement around the camp and opened fire. The area has been cordoned off and is being searched jointly by the police and Army,”

All local units of Army and the central paramilitary force deployed in the area have been alerted.

Meanwhile, two people have been detained and are being interrogated in connection with the incident, said ANI.

The security around the Army camp has also been tightened.

The attack comes a day after five terrorists belonging to Pakistan-backed terror outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The gunbattle broke out after terrorists opened fire on a search party of the security forces in Kulgam’s Kellem village on Sunday morning.

A top Army official later confirmed that five terrorists were killed in the encounter and weapons and warlike stores were recovered from the spot.

The slain terrorists were identified as Waseem Ahmad Rather, Aqib Nazir Mir, Parvaiz Ahmad Bhat, Idrees Ahmad Bhat and Zahid Ahmad Parray, the official said.

“As per police records, it was a combined group of proscribed terror outfits HM and LeT and their (terrorists) exact affiliations are being ascertained. They were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes, including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” a police spokesperson said.

Waseem, Aqib and Parvaiz were involved in killings of a civilian, Mohd Iqbal Kawa, and local Army jawan, Mukhtar Ahmad, he said.

He said this group of terrorists was also involved in various grenade attacks across Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

J&K Police Constable Javed Ahmed Abducted, Killed By Terrorists

Javed Ahmed Dar, a police constable in the Jammu And Kashmir Police, kidnapped by terrorists in south Kashmir’s Shopian district near his home in Vehil on Thursday last evening was found dead today morning with multiple wounds. The policeman had gone to buy medicine, said the police.

He was a personal security officer to Senior Superintendent of Police Shailendra Mishra.

He was kidnapped from a village where security forces had killed five terrorists in an encounter in April.

Security forces launched an operation to locate the constable. His body was found by the road at Dangam in Shopian.

The Jammu and Kashmir police paid tribute to the constable in a wreath laying ceremony.

Last month, army soldier Aurangzeb was kidnapped by terrorists in Pulwama district and shot dead. The soldier, on leave for Eid, was travelling in a car to Shopian when terrorists blocked the way and took him away. He was shot in the head and neck.

Security forces had suspended anti-terror cordon and search operations in Jammu and Kashmir under a peace initiative for Ramzan.

Security officials say during this period, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a huge spurt in terror activity as well as crime.

On June 14, senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was killed by terrorists in the heart of Srinagar.

Days later, the BJP later pulled down the coalition government led by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, attributing the deterioration in the law and order situation as one of the key reasons.

Congress’s Firm Statement: No Plans To Form Govt. With PDP In J&K

Former Union Minister Ambika Soni in a meeting of significant Congress leaders on the Kashmir situation said, the party wanted fresh polls in the State that has been placed under Governor’s rule after the BJP withdrew alliance from the PDP.

Announcing that the meeting was held to “discuss the situation arising out of the imposition of Governor’s rule in the State,” Ms. Soni said there was no possibility of an alliance with the PDP, which had failed to fulfil its promises to the people of the State.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Jammu and Kashmir Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir were present in the meeting.

‘Not foolish’

A Congress delegation will also be visiting Leh, Ladakh and Kargil soon to assess the situation. On Tuesday, about 100 party members will meet in Srinagar for the same purpose.

Later, speaking to journalists, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in reply to a question whether the party was looking to form a government in the State: “We are not as foolish as you [the BJP] think. Our demand is that elections should happen there immediately. First, you destroyed the administration of that State, made an unethical alliance, and today you want to rule there through Governor’s rule. Three years are left there; why don’t you announce elections? Order polls if you have the courage.”

“Look at their policies in such a sensitive State and they also thump their chests on nationalism,” he added.

Asked about the implications of Ms. Mufti reportedly meeting former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Singhvi said: “Meeting with somebody has not to be read in terms of all other kinds of conclusions you are drawing. I have made it clear. I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”

However, the Congress media cell denied knowledge of any such meeting.

Mr. Singhvi also said that terrorist incidents, army deaths, cross-border attacks and ceasefire violations had increased in the State.

 

 

Congress’s firm statement: no pans to form govt. with PDP in J&K

Former Union Minister Ambika Soni in a meeting of significant Congress leaders on the Kashmir situation said, the party wanted fresh polls in the State that has been placed under Governor’s rule after the BJP withdrew alliance from the PDP.

Announcing that the meeting was held to “discuss the situation arising out of the imposition of Governor’s rule in the State,” Ms. Soni said there was no possibility of an alliance with the PDP, which had failed to fulfil its promises to the people of the State.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Jammu and Kashmir Congress Committee president Ghulam Ahmad Mir were present in the meeting.

‘Not foolish’

A Congress delegation will also be visiting Leh, Ladakh and Kargil soon to assess the situation. On Tuesday, about 100 party members will meet in Srinagar for the same purpose.

Later, speaking to journalists, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in reply to a question whether the party was looking to form a government in the State: “We are not as foolish as you [the BJP] think. Our demand is that elections should happen there immediately. First, you destroyed the administration of that State, made an unethical alliance, and today you want to rule there through Governor’s rule. Three years are left there; why don’t you announce elections? Order polls if you have the courage.”

“Look at their policies in such a sensitive State and they also thump their chests on nationalism,” he added.

Asked about the implications of Ms. Mufti reportedly meeting former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Singhvi said: “Meeting with somebody has not to be read in terms of all other kinds of conclusions you are drawing. I have made it clear. I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”

However, the Congress media cell denied knowledge of any such meeting.

Mr. Singhvi also said that terrorist incidents, army deaths, cross-border attacks and ceasefire violations had increased in the State.

“The field is empty. Everyone is looking for opportunities.”: BJP

Jammu and Kashmir, currently under Governor’s rule after the collapse of the Mehbooba Mufti goveenment last month may witness a major political announcement by BJP after the Amarnath yatra finishes.

If and when the switch happens, the BJP may claim to form the government in the state based on the fact that the state has 89 Assembly seats and any party or coalition would need 44 seats to stake claim to form the government; BJP already has 25 members, PDP has 28, Congress 12 and National Conference 15.

“Nobody is willing to face elections and nobody wants to sit out of power for quarter to three years. We have made the necessary arrangements. If all goes well with the Amarnath Yatra, we may make an announcement sometime in late August or early September,” said a senior BJP leader and former minister in the recent BJP-PDP coalition.

Rumours of the BJP trying to cobble up a coalition were floating around soon after it pulled the plug on its three-year-old coalition with the PDP. The rumours were strengthened when Ram Madhav, the BJP in-charge of J&K and the ‘chief architect’ of the historic alliance in 2014, were seen together with some BJP MLAs at Sajjad Lone’s residence. It was said that the meeting was held to discuss government formation and support of MLAs from other parties.

The meeting with Lone, held just 10 days after the BJP pulled out support, seemed portentous because he was the first Kashmiri leader to offer support to the BJP and hail Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one “who can change the fortunes of Jammu and Kashmir” and call him an “elder brother” before the state elections.

Lone was in touch with Ram Madhav before the state elections and is said to have close working relationship with top party leadership. His party — the People’s Conference — won two seats in the assembly polls. The picture with Lone and other BJP leaders were first put out by Ram Madhav on his Twitter account.

The National Conference has since the implementation of Governor’s rule been calling for the Governor to dissolve the Assembly and pave way for fresh elections to take place five to six months from now. However, NN Vohra has given no such indication.

Madhav had also met Vohra during his day-long Srinagar trip on June 27.

One of the BJP leaders, who was part of that meeting said, “Yes, we discussed government formation. It’s true. We are looking at all possibilities. Maidan khaali hai (The field is empty). Everyone is looking for possibilities. Everything seems possible right now. Let’s wait for the yatra to get over.”

Sources told that a section within the PDP has been eager to breakaway and support the BJP for a long time now. The sources added that between January 2016, when PDP founder Mufti Mohammed Sayeed died, and April that year, when Mehbooba took a long time to decide the terms of her party’s engagement with BJP, two senior leaders from the PDP had told the saffron party in very clear terms that they were willing to break away. However, the BJP is understood to have not considered the move to split the PDP appropriate then.

Large-scale dissatisfaction among senior leadership and cadre within the PDP, owing to several factors, including her alleged focus on furthering her brother’s political career and sacking some party veterans unceremoniously, are seen to be contributing towards a split in the party.

 

Anti-militant ops to be intensified as extremist activities surged during Ramzan: J&K DGP SP Vaid

Operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir to be intensified in the upcoming days as a counter-action to the increased levels of extremist activities. The operations were stopped during the month of Ramzan, said State Police Chief SP Vaid on Tuesday.

 

Replying to whether the Governor’s rule would make any difference to the security system of the state in the counter-militancy operations, Vaid said “ Operations will continue. Only thing was in between, during this (ceasefire) period, the operations were stopped. They were going on earlier also, but we will intensify these operations in the days to come. And it would be, I think, much easier to work”.

Vaid said the militant activities increased during the period of Ramzan ceasefire.

 

“But, we will go all-out and intensify the operations against the terrorists now,” he said.

 

The DGP said he was sure the Governor’s rule would have an impact on the security situation of the valley and “things should work very effectively”.

 

“I am sure things should work very effectively and it will have an impact on the security situation of the valley,” he said.

 

 

He said there was an impact on the fight against militancy because of the ceasefire as it was advantageous to the militants.

 

“The orders were to maintain high-alert in the camps so that if camps were attacked, we are able to retaliate effectively. But, one could not launch operations even when there was specific intelligence about the presence of terrorists. So, that obviously was an advantage to the terrorists,” he said.

 

Asked whether the ceasefire provided an opportunity to the militants to regroup and if the fight against them would be any difficult, Vaid said, “I think in terms of organising, they had an advantage during this period … This job was never easy, it is always difficult and shall continue to be so.”

 

On the investigations into the killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari, the DGP said the police would be able to crack the case with a limited period of time.

 

“We had constituted a SIT. DIG central Kashmir is personally monitoring the case. In fact zonal IG Kashmir himself is taking updates on day-to-day basis and there are important leads in the case which I would not like to comment on at the moment because it is too premature to talk about those developments… Absolutely, within a limited period of time, we will be able to work-out the case,” he said.

 

Similarly, he said, the militants behind the killing of army Jawan Aurangzeb will be brought to book soon.

 

“We know those terrorists and we are after them and we will very soon get them. We are after their lives,” the DGP said.