Security forces in the state of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered 10 casualties in the last seven days while eliminating four terrorists in two districts of Anantnag and Pulwama.
The latest casualty came in Anantnag where security forces gunned down Sajjad Maqbool Bhat and Tawseef Ahmad Bhat, both affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit. Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaswal also lost his life in the exchange of fire. Two army men were also injured in the gunbattle.
Army's Srinagar-based spokesperson, while confirming the killing of two terrorists, said, "Sajjad was the one who managed the vehicle for Pulwama attack on February 14," adding that Tauseef was his handler.
Jammu and Kashmir Police, while giving details about the slain, said that "as per the material evidence collected during the course of the investigation, it was learned that Maruti Eco vehicle used for carrying out the blast in Lethpora was owned by one Sajad Bhat of Marhama. As the news of Sajad’s involvement spread, he escaped and joined the proscribed terror outfit JeM."
In the morning, two Indian army soldiers succumbed to death at Army's 92 base hospital in Srinagar. They were injured in a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attack on a Hardened ALS vehicle carrying army men in Arihal area of Pulwama district. Although the police said 6 army men were hurt, sources say at least 9 of them suffered injuries.
Sources in the police said that Sajad was also involved in Monday's IED attack in Pulwama.
On the same day, Major Ketan Sharma died fighting terrorists in Anantnag while another Major rank officer and two other jawans suffered injuries, they are undergoing treatment. One foreign terrorist was also eliminated in the encounter.
On June 12, terrorists carried out a suicide attack on security forces deployed at KP road in Anantnag district, killing 5 CRPF personnel and injuring four others including a police Inspector Arshad Khan, who later succumbed to his injuries at AIIMS New Delhi. One foreign terrorist was also shot dead while he was firing at the security forces.
Monday's Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attack in Pulwama was third of such nature. First, on February 14, a Maruti ECO car was used by a local Jaish terrorist to target security forces convoy which resulted in the killing of over 40 CRPF men. The incident triggered tension in the sub-continent as both India and Pakistan indulged in a dogfight.
After Pulwama, yet another suicide attack was attempted in Banihal area in Ramban district on a CRPF convoy which was moving towards Jammu. According to sources, the attacker, at the final moment, changed his mind and left the car. The vehicle blasted without causing any major damage. Police later arrested the terrorist and his other associates in Kashmir.
Arihal VBIED attack was the third such incident in J&K. This has raised an alarm in the security establishment, who were successful in minimizing collateral damage in the encounters.
The latest casualty came in Anantnag where security forces gunned down Sajjad Maqbool Bhat and Tawseef Ahmad Bhat, both affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed terror outfit. Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaswal also lost his life in the exchange of fire.