Out of the 19 Involved in Pulwama Attack, Eight Killed, Seven Arrested: ADGP Vijay Kumar
Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar. Image Courtesy: PTI
Srinagar: The Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar on Tuesday said that of the 19 persons involved in the deadly Pulwama attack, eight militants have been killed, and seven are in jail. The remaining four are still alive, including four Pakistanis and one Kashmiri – all of whom are currently in Pakistan.
Kumar spoke to the media on the fourth anniversary of the incident as he paid his tributes to the victims of the attack in the Lethpora area of Pulwama in South Kashmir. The attack on February 14, 2019, was one of the deadliest in Kashmir in decades that killed at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and injured more, sending shockwaves throughout the country.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit was believed to be behind the Fidayeen operation – one of the only few reported in the region – carried out by a local Adil Ahmad Dar. Jaish leaders Azhar Masood, Abdul Rauf and Ammar Alvi and another of Kashmiri origin – all based in Pakistan – are believed to be amongst the key planners of the attack.
Kumar said that the counter-insurgency operations following the attack resulted in a massive crackdown against the banned outfit and its regional network.
"In the last three years, the back of Jaish e Mohammad has been broken. Today, there is no militant active in Pulwama after both Sameer Dar and Zahid were killed," Kumar said.
The top police official said there are only 7-8 locals and 5-6 foreigners from the outfit active in the region, of which the most prominent is Musa Suleimani, believed to be operating around South Kashmir's Kulgam district. Kumar, however, added that the outfit is again attempting to settle its base through recruitments from the last six months.
Earlier in February, the Jammu and Kashmir police in Kulgam claimed to have recovered a cache of arms and ammunition from a module in which six alleged Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of Jaish were arrested.
"There was another module cracked in Pulwama yesterday. We are working on it and will not allow Jaish to settle its base," he said.
The police officer said there are currently 37 local militants active in the valley, including two older recruits, Farooq Nalli and Riyaz Chetri. "The rest are mostly new recruits, and in Srinagar, only two terrorists, Momin and Basit, are active around Iddgah locality," Kumar said.
He added that the forces focus on security challenges, including hand grenades, sticky bombs and pistols – used in targeted attacks – 'Narco terrorism' and the 'terror funding'.
In the last month, the Special Operations Group (SOG) Srinagar has recovered about Rs 41 lakh, and the police in Poonch and Baramulla have recovered Rs 26 lakh. He added that there had been a breakthrough in cases registered against OGW networks involved that are being disposed of rapidly.
"The number of such cases has reduced from 1600 in October last year to 950 at present, and we have also got 13 convictions from the court," he said.
Meanwhile, several political leaders and officials also paid tributes to the victims of the attack.
"Tributes to the brave martyrs who lost their lives in the gruesome Pulwama attack in 2019. Their valour and sacrifice for the motherland will never be forgotten and will continue to inspire generations to come," the office of the Lt Governor tweeted.
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