Udhampur attack mastermind killed in encounter
Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Qasim, accused of masterminding an ambush in Udhampur that left two BSF personnel dead, was killed in a skirmish with security forces in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
The operation began at 2 AM after intelligence that 28-year-old Qasim, a resident of Bhawalpur in Pakistan, was holed up in a house at Khandipura village in Kulgam, along with an accomplice, official sources said.
A joint team of Army, police and para-military forces was rushed in and the village was cordoned off.
He had managed to flee from Bandipora in North Kashmir when a police party led by Mohammed Altaf had zeroed in on him on October 7. He had managed to escape after firing indiscriminately on the police party killing police officer Altaf who was known as “Altaf Laptop” and was credited with busting of several terror modules.
“It was a great achievement for the security forces,” Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police K Rajendra said.
Qasim, who after spreading the tentacles of terror in North Kashmir, was trying to gain foothold in South Kashmir and had been operating out of Shopian and Kulgam jungles for sometime now.
Carrying a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh on his head, Qasim alias Abur Rehman was wanted by the state police after the infamous Hyderpora incident of 2013 in which eight Army personnel were killed in broad daylight.
His name also surfaced in terror attack on a BSF convoy at Udhampur in August this year in which two personnel of the force were killed. One terrorist was also shot dead in retaliatory fire while another Mohammed Naved, a Pakistani national, was captured by locals and handed over to the police.
Altaf had been tailing his movements for long till he paid with his life.
Qasim’s end came barely five kilometres away from Zongalpore, ancestral village of Altaf in the same district.