LeT Comdr Abu Qasim Killed In Kulgam

29 October 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Security forces killed top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Abdul Rehman alias Abu Qasim in an encounter in South Kashmir's Kulgam district in the wee hours today. This is a major success for security forces as Abu Qasim was brain behind major Lashkar-e-Toiba strikes in Kashmir valley for past three years including a major strike against Army in Srinagar two years ago and attack on Border Security Forces (BSF) in Uhdampur in August this year. Inspector General of Police Kashmir, SJM Gillani, told a news conference in Srinagar that his killing is a major success for security forces. 'We neutralised a top Lashkar commander Abu Qasim during an operation in Khandaypora in Kulgam district in the wee hours today. It is a major success as Qasim was directly or indirectly involved in all major LeT attacks in Kashmir over the past three years,' he added. The IGP said that Qasim was one of the top most wanted militants in the State for whom the State Police had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh. The NIA, which is investigating the Udhampur case, had also announced Rs 10 lakh reward for information leading to his arrest or killing. Gillani said Abdul Rehman alias Abu Qasim, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, was active in Kashmir valley for the last five years and was the mastermind of the Udhampur attack on a BSF convoy on August 5 this year. He said Qasim was also involved in the killing of Sub Inspector Mohammad Altaf Dar at Bandipora on October 7, 2015. The IGP said Qasim's killing will dent the operational capabilities of LeT in Kashmir and also the coordination between various militant outfits in the Valley. Gillani said Qasim was involved in an attack on Army convoy at Hyderpora in the city in 2013 that left eight soldiers dead. The militant commander was also involved in killing of noted Cardiologist Sheikh Jalal in 2013 at Pampore in Pulwama district. Asked if Qasim's killing would lead to closure of investigations in the Udhampur attack case, the IGP said the case was being investigated by the NIA. 'It is being investigated by the NIA and they have to tie the lose ends before taking the investigations to the logical conclusion,' he added. Gillani lauded the efforts of the cops who were involved in tracking down Qasim and other militants killed in recent operations in the Valley. The IGP said Qasim was killed when he and his accomplices tried to break cordon laid by security forces at around 2 am at Khandaypora in Kulgam. Gillani said the cordon was laid last evening but the militants tried to break the cordon around 2 am. 'One militant (Qasim) was killed while others managed to get back inside,' he said. On the directions of the Qasim, cadres of LeT outfit Abu Hamza and Abu Usman of Pakistan were involved in killing of Ex-Director of SKIMS Soura Srinagar, Dr. Jalal U Din along with his PSO in year 2013. Case FIR No. 82-2013 U-S 307, 392, 302 RPC, 7-27 I.A Act registered in P-S Pampore. The IGP said militant commander was involved in an attack on BSF Bus which took place near Kadlabal, Pampore and injured 6 personnel including Deputy Commandant and a case FIR No. 114-2014 U-S 307 RPC, 7-27 I.A Act registered in P-S Pampore. Gillani said on the directions of the Abu Qasim, cadres of LeT outfit Dujana of Pakistan and Showkat Ahmad Lone alias Ali Bhai carried attack on Police Party at Galander Pampore in which two constables of JKAP 11th battalion were killed and they snatched one AK-47 rifle. 'FIR No. 119-2013 U-S 302, 307 RPC 7-27 I.A Act registered at P-S Pampore', he added. On the directions of Qasim, cadres of LeT outfit Abu Umer of Pakistan, Lateef Ahmad Dar of Chadoora and Reyaz Ahmad of Panzan are involved in killing of SHO P-S Chadoora in year 2013. Case FIR No. 216-2013 U-S 302, 307 RPC 7-27 I.A Act in P-S Chadoora. On the directions of the commander, cadres of LeT outfit killed two CRPF personnel in year 2013. Case FIR No. 204 - 2013 U-S 302, 307 RPC 7-27 I.A Act registered in P-S Pulwama. The militant commander was involved in firing at Batapora Tokuna on 04-11-2014 and FIR No. 113-2014 U-S 307 RPC , 7-27 I.A Act registered in P-S Awantipora. On the directions of the commander, cadres of LeT outfit Abu Hanzullah alias Chotu resident of Pakistan and other associates killed two SPOs at Court Complex Pulwama in year 2014. Case FIR No. 42-2014, U-S 302, 307 RPC, 7-27 I.A Act, 03 Foreigner Act registered in P-S Pulwama. The militant commander was involved in killing of one Policeman and one Army Jawan at Qaisar Mullah Chadoora Budgam. Case FIR No. 70-2014 U-S 302, 307 RPC, 7-27 I.A Act registered in P-S Chadoora in this regard. A Defence spokesman said here that in a major success in counter terrorist operations, the security forces today killed a top LeT militant, Abu Qasim during an encounter in Kulgam. 'The Army and JKP had launched on operation yesterday evening on receiving information about presence of some terrorists including LeT commander Abu Qasim in village Khandaypura of Kulgam District', the spokesman said. The spokesman said: 'A gun battle ensued at around 2 AM today when the terrorists tried to break through the cordon in which one terrorist, now indentified as Abu Qasim of Pakistan was killed. The killing has delivered a major blow to the terrorists and their masters as he had purportedly masterminded several terrorist related incidents including the 2013 Hyderpora ambush on SF and the more recent Udhampur attack in which 2 BSF personnel were killed and a Pak terrorist Naved was captured alive. Qasim was also involved in the killing of JKP Sub Inspector Altaf Ahmed in Bandipora early this month'. 'Relentless, information based operations by the Security Forces which have resulted in elimination of 18 terrorists including three top commanders over the last two months alone, have struck a significant blow to the terrorists', the spokesman said.

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