‘No civilian casualties, collateral damage occurred’
Srinagar: Army on Monday said that the Jaish-e-Muhammad operational commander who was the master mind of Sunjwan attack was killed in an encounter at Hatwar village of Awantipora in Pulwama district.
“Based on specific intelligence of presence of a militant in the area of Hatwar, Awantipur, a joint specific operation was launched today by JKP, 50 RR and CRPF,” Defense spokesman, Rajesh Kalia said, adding that during the operation, the mastermind of Sunjawan attack and Letapore attack, Jaish e Mohammed operational commander Mufti Waqas, Cat A++, has been eliminated in a surgical operation.
“There have been no civilian casualties or collateral damage. This has resulted in a major dent to the designs of JeM as after elimination of their earlier operational commander Noor Mohd Tantrey in the same area in Dec 17, his successor too has been killed,” he said.
The statement comes a day after the killing of four civilians and two militants, who were killed in a firing incident in Shopian district on Sunday.
However, the Army has claimed that three civilians killed were ‘Over Ground Workers’ of the militants. An Army Spokesman claimed that militants, who were travelling in a vehicle in Pohan area of the district attacked a joint Mobile Vehicle Check Post, at 20:00 hours.
Another car was found near the site with a dead body inside. Later, a body of another militant was found in an apple orchard around 10 kilometers away from the site.
Opposition party National Conference demanded a probe into the Shopian killings where two militants and four militants were killed on Sunday late evening. On its official Twitter handle, NC wrote: “We are deeply shocked and grieved at the continued and unabated bloodshed in Kashmir.”
“The Shopian killings cannot be justified with an arbitrary, unproven pronouncement of the youth being OGWs. The circumstances and details should be probed and made public by the State Govt”.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that she was deeply distressed due to the civilian killings in Shopian.
The chief minister tweeted her condolences to the families of the people who were ‘caught in cross fire’.
Deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire in Shopian. My heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s families.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 5, 2018
In the aftermath of the blood bath in Shopian, a dead body of another civilian has been found, taking the death toll to five.
(With inputs from KNS)