Pulwama attack mastermind slayed in encounter in Kashmir

JeM terrorist Mudasir Ahmed Khan, the ‘brains’ behind the Pulwama attack was one of the two militants killed in the encounter in Tral’s Pinglish area. The body of the second militant has not been identified yet


THE mastermind of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel, has been killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Tral area, officials said on Monday. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist Mudasir Ahmed Khan was one of the two militants killed in the encounter in Tral’s Pinglish area that started on Sunday evening and went on till the early hours of Monday, they said.


The body of the second militant has not been identified yet, said the officials, who had earlier claimed he was Sajjad Bhat, a JeM operative whose car was used in the Pulwama attack.


Bhat’s brother refused to take the body, saying it was charred beyond recognition. Khan’s body has been taken by his family members, the officials said.


Khan was the “main conspirator” of the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, Lt General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, General Officer Commanding, XV Corps, said at a hurriedly called joint press conference by the Army, state police and the paramilitary force.CRPF Inspector General (Operations) in Jammu and Kashmir, Zulfiqar Hasan said,” Mudasir Ahmed Khan, alias ‘Mohd Bhai’, was among the two militants killed in the encounter in Tral’s Pinglish area in Pulwama district.”

He, however, refused to term this as avenging the deaths in the February 14 terror strike. “We are peace keepers and we ensure that no one raises a gun against the country,” Hasan said. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Swayam Prakash Pani, said the identity of the second militant has not been ascertained yet.


“We know that his code was ‘Khalid’. We are trying to find his actual identity,” he said, adding that he is believed to be a Pakistani citizen. The killing of Khan is a significant dent to the JeM, he said. Pani said some material was found from their hideout and it will be shared with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Pulwama attack. The family members of Khan have taken his body, Hasan said, adding that he has been buried as well.


Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Pinglish after receiving specific intelligence about the presence of militants in the area. The operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire at the search party who retaliated, the officials said.


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