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Key conspirator of Pulwama attack killed in gunbattle: Security forces

Indian Express 2019-03-12 04:30:20
Debris of a house destroyed in the gunbattle in the Pinglesh area of Tral, Monday. (PTI)

Security forces Monday announced that the “main conspirator” behind the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama that left 40 personnel dead had been killed in a gunbattle in Tral in South Kashmir Sunday night.

He was identified as Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Mudasir Ahmad Khan, a resident of Tral who had been active in the area since 2018. Mudasir was one of two militants killed in the gunbattle with security personnel.

Lt Gen K J S Dhillon, General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, addressing a joint press conference, said: “Mudasir was the main conspirator of the attack on the Pulwama training centre (in 2017) and also the Pulwama convoy attack… He helped, coordinated the Pulwama convoy attack.”

He said the Jaish leadership in the Valley had been targeted in different operations. “The main conspirators (of the Pulwama convoy attack), Kamran and Mudasir, were the main heads of Jaish-e-Mohammad. They have been eliminated. We had gone very forcefully after the Jaish-e-Mohammad in the last three weeks. The aim was to eliminate them at the earliest so that they are not able to carry a Pulwama-like attack again.”

“In 21 days, we have eliminated 18 terrorists, 14 of them from the Jaish-e-Mohammad. Six of them were in the A Plus category,” he said. “Our main emphasis after the February 14 convoy attack was the elimination of the Jaish-e-Mohammad leadership and we have been very successful in doing that.”

He said the first major operation after the Pulwama attack was on February 18 in which Kamran, another Jaish commander, was killed. “Operations against foreign terrorists and the JeM will continue till we eliminate all of them,” the GOC said.

J&K Police said that other than Mudasir, another militant had been killed in the operation. He was suspected to be a Pakistani national using the code name Khalid. The gunbattle took place in Pinglesh area of Tral.

Zulfiqar Hassan, IG CRPF, who was present at the press conference, said the killing of Mudasir was “doubly significant” for the CRPF because Mudasir was also involved in the December 2017 attack on a CRPF camp in which five personnel were killed. “But our job is still not done… the criminals who supplied him (Mudasir) the explosives… sooner or later, we will get all these players who were involved in the convoy attack,” he said.

Inspector General Police, Kashmir range, S P Pani, who was also present at the press conference, said the recent security operations have hit the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

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Mudasir (25) was a graduate. His name came up after the attack on the CRPF training centre in Pulwama on December 31, 2017. He joined the Jaish-e-Mohammad in January 2018. After the February 14 Pulwama attack, the NIA had conducted searches at his home in Tral. IGP Pani said Mudasir was wanted in several cases of terror.