In what comes as a major success for the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral, three terrorists have been neutralised. The slain terrorists include Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)’s Kashmir chief Qari Yasir. However, three army personnel were also injured in the encounter.

The identification of the two other slain terrorists is currently underway.

According to intel reports, the terrorists were planning a large terror attack on January 26, when India celebrates the 71st Republic Day. The attack was supposedly being planned by Yasir, the mastermind of the infamous Pulwama terror attack in February last year.

The successful encounter took place in Tral in the Pulwama district of South Kashmir. The joint security forces are now conducting a search operation in the area.

Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir confirmed the reports and said that three terrorists were neutralised, including Qari Yasir. “With inputs from our intelligence, it includes Qari Yasir, who is Jaish’s self-styled Kashmir chief. We had received info that he was planning to carry out a big IED blast in Srinagar with Burhan. Identification of the other two is underway,” Kumar said.

Lt. General KJS Dhillon, Commander of the Chinar Corps said that the army had received intel about terror attacks being planned on January 26 in Tral, therefore the search-and-hunt operation was launched on this day to neutralise the terrorists ahead of Republic Day.

The security forces seemed confident regarding the success of counter-terror operations in Kashmir. “We are getting success in all our operations in the valley. We have managed to kill senior commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). HM has almost been eliminated from South Kashmir,” the Kashmir IGP said.

The police added some details about Qari Yasir, the slain JeM commander, who was the mastermind behind the Pulwama terror attack. “We came to know about Yasir’s presence in the locality. We gheraoed the area and succeeded in killing three terrorists. Qari Yasir was very active and was training terrorists to carry out the fidayeen attacks. Three bodies have been recovered but search operations are still continuing,” a top police official stated.

According to army sources, Jaish is looking to strengthen its strongholds in Kashmir once again, in the wake of the central government’s developmental initiatives in the valley. However, the joint security forces are keeping a strict vigil on terror activity in J&K, committed to returning the valley to normalcy as soon as possible. “A few days ago, a Jaish module was busted on the basis of intelligence inputs, and 5 terrorists were seized with their weapons from Srinagar. But still, about 125 terrorist modules are active in south Kashmir. But our campaign is continuing,” an army official stated. 

Today, the encounter started at 8 AM after the security forces received information of three terrorists hiding in Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. 3 personnel of the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), 130 of the CRPF and the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police launched the operation and cordoned off the area. A large-scale search operation was carried out and the militants hiding in the area were smoked out of their hiding. Thereafter, the terrorists started firing at the armed forces, resulting in a fierce encounter. Three army jawans were injured in the encounter.

Qari Yasir was of Pakistani-origin and had been on the radar of security forces for quite some time now. In South Kashmir, Yasir has especially been considered a major threat to the security forces. The Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and integrate it with Pakistan.   

Courtesy : DNA

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