Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range Vijay Kumar Friday said that top Jaish-e-Muhammad commander—one among the most wanted 12 militant commanders and IED expert—was killed along with two others in an encounter at South Kashmir’s Kulgam on Friday.He identified the slain commander as Waleed Bhai, who had managed to give slip to the forces four times during Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) in Southern districts and was active for nearly 16 months.Addressing a press conference at police control room in Srinagar, the IGP said that acting on a tip off, a joint operation was laid at Nagnad village of Damhal-Hanjipora area of Kulgam, three militants were killed that include Waleed Bhat, an IED expert, who was Jaish commander and one among the most wanted 12 commanders, the list of whom was already shared with the media men on July 2. The identity of the other two slain militants, IGP said, is being ascertained.He said earlier a Lashkar militant was killed among two others in Sopore area of north Kashmir recently. “He was also among the most wanted 12. So, ten more are still on the run who are wanted,” the IGP said as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO)He said today’s encounter is a big success for the security forces as Waleed Bhai was active for the past one and a half years and was operating in South Kashmir areas including Qazigund highway stretch. “We have recovered a US made M-4 carbine from the slain Jaish commander. His killing big achievement for us,” the IGP Kashmir as per KNO.
The Kashmir police chief said that another militant who is among the most wanted remaining ten is Sajad alias Haider, who is active in Sopore and had recently released a video asking police not to target militant families. “He was the one involved in the abduction of a BJP worker, was rescued later,” the IGP said.In his message to militants, the IGP said that police doesn’t target the family members of militants nor does it indulge in any sort of harassment to them. “There is only one case where we arrested the mother of a slain militant, against whom there was ample proof. Even the court rejected her bail plea given the concrete evidence we had against her involvement in the militancy,” he said.The IGP said the manhunt will continue to track down the remaining ten militants who are most wanted which include five from Hizbul Mujahideen, two from Jaish and three from Lashkar-e-Toiba. Asked whether all the IED experts of Jaish were killed or is anyone still active, he said: “There is one more Pakistani militant whose name is Adnan Bhai alias Lamboo Bhai, who is also an IED expert of Jaish. We will continue our operations against the remaining ones and eliminate them soon,” the IGP said as per KNO. Asked about militancy status in north Kashmir, the IGP said that in north Kashmir two successful operations were conducted recently in which six militants were killed including top Lashkar commander Usman. “In north Kashmir, there are less number of active militants.Our camps are located far from each other, which gives a chance to survive for a bit longer compared to south. We have started operations in north and all the remaining militants will be killed,” he said—(KNO)