A former Indian Army jawan was kidnapped and brutally murdered by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday. The 25-year old was allegedly shot dead by terrorists outside his house in Pulwama’s Pingleena village in south Kashmir. A joint team of Indian Army and SOG has launched a cordon and search operation in the area to nab the assailants. Initial reports suggest that the former Army gardener has been identified as Ashiq Ahmad, who was resident of Pinglina. He died on the spot. The sources said that the victim had left the job in Indian army some months ago.
So far, there has been no official confirmation on this. The brutal murder comes almost a month after the gruesome terror attack in Pulwama, which claimed lives of 40 CRPF personnel.
Wednesday’s murder shows that there is no let-up in the violence in the Valley. Recently, the Indian Army had announced that at least 18 terrorists, including eight from Pakistan, were neutralised in the last 21 days.
The Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police, addressing a joint press conference, said that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist Mudasir Ahmed Khan alias 'Mohd Bhai' – the mastermind of the Pulwama attack – was also killed in the encounter in Tral's Pinglish area in Pulwama district.
The presser was addressed by Indian Army Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, IG Kashmir S P Pani and IG CRPF Zulfiqar Hussain.
IG Kashmir SP Pani said that the killing of Mudasir has caused a major dent to the Jaish leadership in the Valley. He added that one of the militants killed has been identified as 'Code Khalid', believed to be Pakistani.
Mudasir was among two militants killed in the encounter which lasted past midnight. Khan and an JeM operative, who officials believe is Sajjad Bhat, whose vehicle was used in the Pulwama attack, were killed in the gunfight with security forces.
"In first 70 days of 2019, security forces have been successful in eliminating 44 terrorists, mainly from Jaish-e-Mohammed. Against 1629 ceasefire violations along Line of Control in 2018, this year 478 ceasefire violations have already taken place along LoC," Indian Army sources were quoted by ANI as saying.
Lesser-known JeM terrorist Khan has been identified as the brain behind the audacious terror strike in Pulwama that left 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel dead on February 14, officials said on Sunday.
The CRPF personnel were killed when a JeM terrorist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle -- a Maruti Eeco minivan -- into their bus.The minivan was bought by Bhat just 10 days before the suicide attack.
Suicide attacker Adil Ahmed Dar, who blew the explosive-laden vehicle next to the bus, had been in constant contact with Khan, officials said.
Zulfiqar Hussain, IG CRPF, said that the Tral encounter could not be called an "avenge" of the Pulwama terror attack as the CRPF had lost several men.