Pulwama attack masterminded killed within 100 hours; anyone who picks gun will be eliminated: Army

Srinagar, Feb 19 :Asserting that Pulwama suicide bombing that left 40 CRPF jawans dead was masterminded by Jaish-e-Mohammed and ISI, a senior Army official said within less than 100 hours of the attack top JeM leadership was tracked and gunned down.
Urging local militants to shun the path of violence and join mainstream, 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen K J S Dhillon asserted anyone who picks up gun will be eliminated unless he surrenders.
“Ever since the February 14 attack on CRPF, we were tracking down the leadership of JeM in Kashmir valley. The convoy attack was carried by JeM of Pakistan and it was being controlled by Pakistan with active support of ISI and Pakistan Army,” Lt Gen Dhillon, flanked by Inspector General of Police S P Pani and IG CRPF Zulfiqar Hasan, said in a press conference here on Tuesday.
He said the top JeM commanders, most of them from Pakistan, who were incharge of coordinating and execution of this operation, were the main people of the militant outfit in the valley.
He said following specific information, this JeM module was eliminated. “I’m happy to inform the country that in less than 100 hours eliminated the JeM leadership which was being handled by Pakistan,” he said.
On Monday, three JeM militants, including two Pakistan nationals, were killed in a 16-hour-long encounter at Pinglan in south Kashmir district of Pulwama, about 12 km from the site of the February 14 attack. An Army major and five others were also killed in the gunfight.
Underlining the role of mothers of local militants to persuade their children to shun the path of violence, the top Army commander said, “I would also like to tell one thing to the parents of the local youth, because I understand that in Kashmiri culture mother has a great role to play. I would request all the mothers of militants to request their children to surrender and get back to the mainstream.”
“Anyone who has picked up gun in Kashmir will be eliminated unless he surrenders and this is a message as well as a request to all the local militants,” he said.
Lt Gen Dhillon said attack (Pulwama bombing) of such intensity has never happened before in the valley. “…though such attacks have happened in other countries and now militants have started this modus operandi in the valley, we are alive to it. We are keeping our tracks open and all options open to deal with this modus operandi in future,” he added.
Talking about the impact of the situation in Afghanistan on Kashmir, he said anyone (militants) who enters the valley will not go back alive. “Our focus on counter-militant operations is very clear,” he added.

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