The Indian Army on Tuesday said within 100 hours of the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy that left 40 troopers dead, it eliminated the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leadership in the valley that planned and executed the deadly carnage. This was stated by Lt Gen K.S. Dhillon of the 15 Corps Commander, at a joint press briefing here in Jammu and Kashmir, along with officials state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
He also made it clear that the Pulwama attack was carried out by the JeM, which is based in Pakistan, with active support of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistan Army. "Within 100 hours of the Pulwama terror attack, we hit the JeM in the Kashmir Valley which was being handled by the Pakistan-based JeM," Dhillon said. He also added that the details of the two terrorists and one local conduit who were killed in the operation was shared on Monday. "The local commanders, most of them Pakistanis, who were in-charge of controlling, coordinating, fabricating and executing the attack on Thursday, were the top leadership of the JeM in the valley," Dhillon said.
Since the JeM leadership was already being tracked, the Indian operation was launched on Sunday night on specific information of the module. Giving a stern warning to sympathisers of the terror movement in the state, he said: "Anyone who picks up a gun in Kashmir will be eliminated, unless the person surrenders." "I would also like to tell one thing to the parents of the Kasmhiri youths, especially the mothers, as I understand that they have a key role. Through you, I request the sons to surrender and join the main stream," the officer said.
In the biggest crackdown after the February 14 attack by a suicide bomber that left 40 CRPF troopers dead in Pulwama district, the security forces ringed a militant hideout in Pinglena village, just 10 km from the Thursday's terror attack site, triggering a gun battle Sunday overnight that continued intermittently till Monday evening. They killed three militants of the Pakistan-backed JeM, two of them Pakistani nationals identified as Kamran and Abdul Rashid alias Ghazi Umar. Besides, a Major, three soldiers and a civilian were also killed in the initial burst of gunfire by the militants.
(With inputs from agencies.)