Five days after the deadly Pulwama terror attack, security forces on Monday gunned down the mastermind of the carnage along with two other terrorists of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in a fierce encounter in which a Major and four other security personnel were also killed.
Eight other security personnel, including a Brigadier, a Lt Colonel, a Major, a Captain and a DIG of Jammu and Kashmir Police, were injured in the encounter, which took place in Pinglena village of Pulwama district, around 10 kms from the site of February 14 terror attack and went on throughout the night and most of the day on Monday.
The three terrorists killed in the operation included Kamran, a Pakistani terrorist who is suspected to be the mastermind of the Pulwama terror attack of February 14, sources in the security forces said.
Kamran, a close aide of JeM chief Masood Azhar, was sent to Kashmir to boost militancy and took over as JeM's 'operational commander' after the security forces killed Mufti Waqas in an encounter in February last year, sources said.
"He did what Pakistani ISI and his mentors wanted him do and was in regular touch with them," the sources said.
He was the main logistics coordinator for the suicide bombing at Lethapura in Pulwama on February 14 and recent serial grenade lobbing incidents in South Kashmir.
"As per police records, Kamran remained active in district Pulwama and Awantipora and had a long history of terror crime records. He was responsible for the recruitment of people to the terror fold and several terror crime cases were registered against him," the police said in a statement.
Kamran, while operating in the southern belts, extensively relied on the old JeM network of terrorist Noor Trali and Mufti Waqas.
The encounter started late last night when the troops of 55 Rashtriya Rifles laid a cordon in the village along with CRPF and Kashmir police teams.
A Head Constable of state police Abdul Rashid was also killed, the police said.
However, the engagement continued as the Jaish terrorists were trapped inside a cluster of buildings.
As the encounter progressed, two more officers including one Lieutenant Colonel Rahul Gupta and Captain Vinayak also suffered injuries and were shifted to hospital for medical care.
Later on, when troops felt that the encounter was over and senior officers including 12 Sector Rashtriya rifles commander Brig Harbir Singh and South Kashmir Police DIG Amit kumar reached the venue for reviewing the operations, the third terrorist opened fire and caused injuries to the senior officers also.
Brig Harbir has suffered a bullet injury on his ankle and is being treated for it, security forces sources said. Lt Cl Rahul Gupta suffered multiple splinter injuries in his legs while Major Vinayak Vijay suffered injuries in the chest.
Captain Saurabh Patni suffered injuries in legs and is stated to be critical. DIG of state police Amit Kumar also suffered injuries in his leg.
Two other security personnel were also injured. (ANI)