Amarnath Yatra attack mastermind Abu Ismail killed in encounter

On Thursday, Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Abu Ismail was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Nowgam village of Jammu and Kashmir. Ismail is said to be the mastermind behind the deadly attack on Amarnath pilgrims in July, this year. Another terrorist was shot dead in this operation. As per the report in Times of India, a police official said “Bodies of both the terrorists have been recovered. And Ismail’s associate is identified as Chotta Qasim. He is also a Pakistani resident.”

The security forces blocked the entire area and carried out the mission after receiving news that Ismail was hiding in that area. The Director General of CRPF, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar commended this police operation and said that this is a huge achievement as the terrorists were responsible for one of the most tragic incidents in the country.

A massive hunt was going on since July 12, to track down Abu Ismail, who is among the top 4 terrorists to be killed in Kashmir since last year, after Burhan Wani, Sabzar Bhat and Abu Dujana.

Abu Ismail took charge as Lashkar’s top operative after terrorist Abu Dujana was killed in an encounter last month.

Times of India, NDTV 

Displaced residents of LOC demand separate bunkers

People from border areas living in schools-turned-camps, who were uprooted from their homes after firing by Pakistan army have demanded individual bunkers as their residences.  Four months ago, more than 5,000 people living in 23 hamlets along the LOC or near the border area were forced to leave their houses in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district following heavy firing and shelling. According to Livemint, on Union Home minister, Rajnath Singh’s visit to the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district, the displaced people have asked him for individual bunkers.

Prashtom Kumar, a Jangarh resident, said,” Our first and foremost demand is that government should set up individual bunkers in each of the border house if we have to live again along the LoC. This is most and first demand of the LOC people.”

In the recent past, firing and shelling by Pakistani troops have killed four civilians and five others were injured.

MLA Ravinder Raina of Nowshera supported their demands and said, “ chunk of land should be provided to the LOC dwellers to build safe places.”

 

Sources – Livemint and Times of India

 

Raids held by NIA in Separatist Leader Shabir Shah’s Home

The house of separatist leader, Shabir Shah’s Personal Assistant Zameer Shah was reportedly raided by the National Investigation Agency today. The raid is still on-going in his residence in Srinagar. Shabir Shah had been arrested earlier on grounds of being involved in money laundering for alleged terror financing.
On July 25th of this year, Shah had been arrested from his home and had been placed under house arrest in Srinagar. On July 26th, he was present in Patiala High Court post which he had been retained in custody for 7 days. Seven other separatist leaders Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate were also kept in the custody of the NIA. The NIA arrived at Srinagar investigating the alleged funding by Pakistan for criminal acts in Kashmir. The various charges leveled against the criminals were under various sections of the Indian Penal Code ( IPC ) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
On August 6th, Shabir Shah’s wife was called in for questioning related to the money laundering case. Shah applied for bail but his application was rejected by the Delhi Court. His assistant Zameer Ahmad is a member of the Democratic Free Party previously led by Shabir Shah who is currently in Tihar jail.
Sources: New Indian Express, Financial Express

Two Army personnel dead and one injured in encounter

In an encounter on Thursday morning, two army personnel lost their life. A major and a jawan were killed in the firing by the militants in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. 

According to a report by the Indian Express, another jawan who sustained injuries during the encounter was taken to Army’s 92 base hospital in a critical condition. 

The operation started after the Army got a tip off regarding the presence of militants in the village of south Kashmir. The cordon and search operation was started in the night. According to a statement issued in Srinagar, the militant outfit, Hizbul-Mujahideen has taken the responsibility of the firing in Shopian, reported The Hindu.

The two martyred and an injured Army personnel are identified as Major Kailash Pandey, Spoy Tanjin Chhutin and Sepoy Kripal Singh. 

Earlier this week, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana (26), who was a Pakistani National and his local partner, Arif Ahmad Dar (17), were killed in an encounter in South Kashmir. They were believed to be behind different attacks in the valley. 

SOURCES: TOI, INDIAN EXPRESS

IMAGE SOURCE: PTI

LET Chief killed in Pulwama encounter

Abu Dujana, a 27 year old Laskar-e-Taiba commander was slewed in a combat with security forces and militants on Tuesday. He was shot in Hakripora village, Pulwama district of Kashmir.

The Hindustan Times reported that he is a native of Gilgit-Baltistan locality, situated in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He has been the militant of foreign origin who had the most prolonged living period. He also had been awarded 15 Lakhs, as prize money for the 12 militant attacks. The internet services of the region have been disconnected as a defensive directive. “He has been in the forefront for many attacks in the region and the most wanted militant,” informed SP Vaid, the Director General of Police.

CNN-News 18 stated that the operation began as early as 4:30 am, Tuesday morning. The firing between the two groups sustained till 9:30 am. Dujana and his aide, Arif were killed after security forces set their house on fire. Dujana is listed as a terrorist in the A++ category. He killed eight CRPF personnel in Pampore and two policemen in Anantnag this June.

Intelligence agencies were alerted when Dujana was in the district to meet his wife. He attended the funeral of Burhan Wani, the then Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.  Abu Ismail, his close associate, has been named as his successor.

News Source: Hindustan Times, CNN News18

Image Source: PTI

Kashmir rages as India watches

Shouts for azaadi and the fight for the ‘Kashmiri Cause’ have not died down even a year after the death of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed by security forces on July 8, 2016.

Kashmir raged and raged, with thousands of protestors attending his funeral and later clashing with the security forces. Civilians, mobs and police were all targets in the four months of violence that followed. The Modi Government first asked from security forces for ‘absolute restraint’ but then sent reinforcements to the Valley. As ministers began a blame game on Pakistan, Kashmir simmered under a series of curfews. Tensions between the ruling alliances of Bharatiya Janata Party and People’s Democratic Party ensured a confused direction towards a Kashmir policy. The Central Government’s policy of non-engagment with the people of Kashmir further stoked the fire.

The speed of handling law and order situation in Kashmir by both governments has been sluggish at best. Months before the day marking the death anniversary of Wani, the Jammu and Kashmir Government increased the number of security forces along the national highways and remote areas of the valley. A week before July 8, due to the announcement of the Hizbul leader Syed Salahuddin, to mark a week of protest for martyrs like Wani, the State Government declared a week long holiday for schools and colleges not wanting to risk any provocations. Separatist leaders were kept in preventive custody as a precautionary measure.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held several high level meetings on July 6 with security as well as intelligence agencies and sent 214 companies of para military forces to Kashmir. The J&K Police ordered internet service providers to shut all services for security reasons. Social media websites, through which Wani gained popularity, were also blocked. On July 8, certain districts of Kashmir were under complete shutdown or under curfew-like situations and no large gatherings were allowed. In spite of restrictions, clashes still occurred between protestors and security forces in Wani’s hometown, Tral.

But between the collective actions of both governments and claims of Pakistani propaganda the inevitable has already happened. Burhan Wani has gained the status of a martyr in Kashmir and even after his death the separatist cause continues to burn. India should be very cautious in how it treats home grown insurgency henceforth.

Sources: Indian Express, Bangalore Mirror 

Hizbul chief Salahuddin admits to conducting terror acts in India

The recently-designated ‘global terrorist’, Hizbul Mujahideen Chief, Syed Salahuddin, has admitted in an interview to Geo News that his terrorist organization has carried out numerous attacks in India with the support Hizbul garners from India.

He made it absolutely clear, that they are a lot of sympathizers in Kashmir who help him carry out planned attacks on Indian soil. “Khud India ke andar hamare bahot saare supporters hai. Jo hamse hamdardi hai. Jo samajh hai Kashmiri maslo mein. Jo hamse hamdardi karte hai”, said Salahuddin.

He also threw light on the international arms market and how he can deliver arms to any customer on either side of the LOC, in exchange of money.

Hours after the Modi-Trump meeting in the United States, Salahuddin was labelled as a global terrorist, a move that was welcomed by India. This only reinforces the commitment that the two countries have promised in the past to tackle terrorism.

In 2016, Salahuddin put up an open resolution that he will not allow any peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue and the valley would be a “graveyard of Indian soldiers”, as Hizbul will continue a train batches of suicide bombers.

 

Sources: India Today, Hindustan Times