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.