The mastermind of the dastardly Pulwama attack which killed 40 CRPF soldiers on February 14, is believed to have been killed in an encounter with the security forces in the Tral area of South Kashmir, reports PTI.
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist, Mudasir Ahmed Khan alias ‘Mohd Bhai’ is suspected to be amongst the three terrorists neutralised in an encounter which broke out in Pinglish area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district late on Sunday.
According to the Defence Ministry spokesperson, Col Rajesh Kalia, a fierce encounter ensued during a cordon and search operation (CASO) following a tip-off about the presence of terrorists in Tral area of south Kashmir district of Pulwama.
The operation which was jointly launched by the troops of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire at the forces who retaliated.
Officials are trying to establish the identity of the three militants who were neutralised, but as their bodies had been charred beyond recognition, identification becomes a difficult task, confirmed the officials.
According to the evidence gathered so far, it is being believed that Khan alias Mohd Bhai, a 23-year-old electrician by profession holding a graduate degree and a Pulwama resident arranged the vehicle and explosives used in Pakistan army supported Pulwama terror strike.
A resident of Mir Mohalla of Tral, Khan joined the JeM sometime in 2017 as an overground worker and was later absorbed into the terror outfit by Noor Mohammed Tantrey, alias ‘Noor Trali’, who is believed to be instrumental in reviving the terror group in the valley of Kashmir.
Its also said that after Tantray was killed in December 2017, Khan disappeared from his home on January 14, 2018, and has been active since then.
The suicide attacker, Adil Ahmed Dar, who hit the CRPF convoy with an explosive-laden car on February 14, killing 44 Indian soldiers was reportedly in constant contact with Khan, who is believed to have masterminded the entire attack.
Khan is also believed to be involved in the terror strike at the army camp in Sunjawan in February 2018, in which six personnel and a civilian were killed. Moreover, Khan was also instrumental in carrying out the attack on a CRPF camp in Lethpora district in January 2018, that had left five CRPF personnel dead.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the February 14 Pulwama attack, had carried out searches at the residence of Khan on February 27.
Meanwhile, according to the officials, another JeM terrorist named Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Bijbehara in south Kashmir, who had brought the Maruti Eco van used in the Pulwama attack just 10 days before the attack, has since been on the run and is believed to have become an active terrorist now.