23-year-old terrorist, who planned Pulwama attack, killed in encounter: Report
A 23-year-old terrorist named Mudasir Ahmed Khan alias Mohd Bhai, who planned the February 14 Pulwama attack, was killed in an encounter on Monday, PTI reports. Security forces were locked in a fierce gunbattle with terrorists in Tral, Jammu and Kashmir. Three terrorists, including Khan, are believed to have died. Notably, the forces are yet to identify them. Here's what went down.
Forces launched operation based on intelligence inputs
The security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Pinglish area of Tral after learning about terrorists' presence. The search operation turned into an encounter after they opened fire and the forces retaliated effectively. The gunfight lasted past midnight and the terrorists were eliminated. Officials said the bodies of terrorists were "charred beyond recognition" and efforts were underway to identify them.
Who is Khan, the mastermind of Pulwama attack?
Reportedly Khan, a graduate, is a resident of Mir Mohalla of Tral. He joined the notorious terrorist organization in 2017 as a worker. Later, Khan established close ties with Noor Mohammed Tantrey, alias Noor Trali, who played an instrumental part in reviving JeM in the valley. Tantrey was killed in 2017 and Khan went missing from his home in January 2018.
Before Pulwama, Khan was involved in other operations too
Khan had a diploma degree from Industrial Training Institute (ITI). He was also involved in the attack on an army camp in Sunjawan. Six army personnel and one civilian lost their lives in the incident. He also had a role to play in Lethpora attack on CRPF camp in January 2018. The terrorist had been on agencies' radar for months now.
Notably, Khan had arranged the vehicle used for Pulwama attack
The National Investigative Agency (NIA), which is probing the Pulwama attack, searched Khan's residence on February 27. Officials said Khan arranged the Maruti Eeco vehicle and explosives used for the attack, in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred. The vehicle was purchased by Sajjad Bhat, another JeM operative, just ten days before the attack. He is absconding and is believed to have become an active terrorist.
After Pulwama attack, IAF damaged JeM's camp in Balakot
The Pulwama incident was the worst attack to hit the valley in decades. JeM, which is headed by Masood Azhar, took responsibility for the attack minutes after it happened. Subsequently, the Indian Air Force launched a pre-emptive operation on JeM's camp in Balakot, Pakistan, on February 26. The operation, which involved breaching Pakistani airspace, was successful and significant damage was caused to the camp.