Will Ask Pak To Collect Body of Azhar’s Nephew: IGP

Srinagar—While addressing a press conference in Srinagar, IG, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Munir Khan along with the representatives of the Indian Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said the killing of the nephew of Mailana Masood Azhar and the recovery of a M4 rifle, besides two AK-47 rifles, from the encounter site highlighted the link between the Pakistan Army and the JeM.

Khan “thanked” the militant outfit for acknowledging the identity of the killed militant and said the state police would like to request Pakistan to claim the body of the two foreign militants.

“I am thankful that for the first time they have owned a Pakistani militant,” he told media men at a press briefing. “Yes, he is nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar”.

A US-made M4 rifle used by Pakistani Army special forces was recovered following the encounter, which took place on Monday and is being described as a “breakthrough”.

A Jaish spokesperson identifying himself as Hassan Shah sent a statement to local news agencies claiming that one of the slain militants was Tallah Rashid, nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar.

The other two have been identified as Mehmood Bhai, the so-called divisional commander of Jaish in the south and Wasim Ahmed Ganie.

While the first two were in the category of most wanted militants carrying a cash reward, the third was a local and had joined militancy in May this year, top officials from the police, Army and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said at a press conference here.

Major General B S Raju, who heads Victor Force and is responsible for security in south Kashmir and parts of Budgam and Bandipore, said Pakistan’s special forces use M4 carbine rifles and it is likely that they supplied the weapon to the JeM.

The weapon is mostly used by the US Army in its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“M4 Carbine is a US-made weapon, presently with a lot of armies in NATO and it is also with the Special Forces of the Pakistan Army. So we have reason to believe that this particular weapon was given by the Pakistan Army to the JeM cadre. This clearly shows the complicity between the JeM and Pakistan and its nefarious designs in Kashmir,” he said.

The army commander said it was the first time that a US- made weapon was recovered in Kashmir.

He added that there were reports that 10 such rifles were brought by militants who infiltrated from across the border recently.

Kashmir IG Khan said police would launch a thorough investigation to ascertain how such a weapon reached the hands of militants.

“The matter will have to be taken thorough different channels, with concerned embassies,” he said.

He said there are about 16-20 more JeM militants in the Valley.

In his view, displaying the pictures of new weapons on social media was a part of the psychological war by militants.

Masood Azhar was released along with two others — Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Zargar — in exchange for passengers of IC-814 Indian Airlines plane, which was hijacked and taken to Kandahar on December 31, 1999. He later formed Jaish-e-Mohammed, believed to be responsible for many terror incidents, including the 2001 attack on Parliament.

India has been making diplomatic efforts to list Azhar as a global terrorist under the UN anti-terror law but the process has been blocked by China. PTI

Militants give gun salute to slain comrades

A group of militants Tuesday fired in the air as a form of gun salute at the funeral of one of their associates who was killed in an encounter by security forces in the Pulwama district of south Kashmir last night, a police official said.

The group, including Sameer Tiger, whose picture with a US-made M4 rifle was seen on social media a few days ago, appeared at the funeral of Wasim Ahmed Ganie and fired a volley of bullets in the air, he said.

The militants also raised slogans before fleeing, the official said.

Geelani, HM, LeT pay tributes

Paying tribute to slain youth in Agular Pulwama gunfight, Syed Ali Geelani blamed Indian authorities and said that their insensitivity and unconcern is the sole reason for this unabated bloodshed.

“These youths spilled their hot blood for the great and sacred cause of Kashmir and the entire nation of Kashmir is indebted to these martyrs for their ultimate sacrifice. It is the collective responsibility of the people of Kashmir and the leadership to take the ongoing movement to its ultimate realization,” Geelani, in a statement to the media, said.

Criticizing Indian authorities, Geelani said that instead of taking measures to resolve long pending issue in its historical perspective, they want to thrust their choice through barrel of gun.

Geelani sent a Tehreek-e-Huriyat deputation led by Mohammad Owais, Sajad Ahmad and Mohammad Iqbal to visit Drubgam Pulwama to participate in funeral prayers of slain youth and addressed mourners.

Geelani said that prevailing uncertainty in state and unrealistic approach of authorities is the basic cause of human tragedy and it is the reason that youth are losing their precious lives. “Authorities are responsible for this horrendous situation, said Geelani and added that occupant authorities are adamant to carry forward this situation and prolong this unauthorised occupation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen and Lashkar-e-Taiba Tuesday paid rich tributes to three militants who were killed in a gunfight in Kandi Aglar area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday night.

Hizb Chief Syed Salahuddin said that the flowing blood in Kashmir from past seven decades will show its colour one day. “The sun of freedom will set in and the sacred blood of the martyrs will not go waste,” Salahuddin wrote to local news agency CNS.

He also paid rich tribute to militant Moazum-u-Din and Muhammad Akram who were killed in a gunfight in Uri sector of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Mahmood Shah, the LeT Chief, in a press communiqué to CNS said that the freedom fighters will win their freedom with their very own blood. “Allah has promised glad tidings for such sacrifices. We are in a firm belief that Allah will soon bless us with the freedom,” he said.

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