In a massive win for the security forces and for India, a terrorist and key conspirator of the horrific Pulwama Terror Attack, Sajjad Bhat, whose vehicle was used by the JeM suicide bomber to carry out the heinous attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred, has been gunned down on Tuesday in Anantnag.
On a credible input, a cordon & search operation was launched jointly by police and security forces at Marhama in Bijbehara area of District Anantnag. As the search operation was underway, the hiding terrorists fired at the search party forcing retaliatory fire leading to an encounter.
In the exchange of fire with the terrorists, an Army Jawan Anil Jaswal sustained gunshot injuries. He was evacuated to the hospital where he attained succumbed to his injuries. We pay our rich tributes to Army Jawan for the supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty.
In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The killed terrorists have been identified as Sajad Ahmad Bhat and Tawseef Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Marhama, Bijbehara.
As per the records available with police, both the killed terrorists were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) and were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attacking of security establishments and civilian atrocities.
According to the police records, Sajad was wanted in Lethpora blast in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred earlier this year. As per the material evidence collected during the course of investigation, it was learned that the 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. A picture of Sajad carrying AK-47 rifle was also circulated on social media announcing his joining terror outfit. Pertinently Tawseef played a key role in recruiting of Sajad to the terrorist ranks.
Both of them were part of groups involved in planning and executing a series of terror attacks in the area. Several terror crime cases were registered against them. Some of the terror crime cases registered against Sajad include case FIR No 16/2018 and case FIR No 28/2019 pertaining to Lethpora attack. Cases registered against Tawseef include case FIR No 95/2018.
Incriminating material including arms & ammunition has been recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to further probe their complicity in other terror crimes.
People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any.
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The neutralisation of the terrorists comes 124 days after the worst attack on the security forces in many decades, as 40 CRPF Jawans were killed as their convoy was attacked on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Following Pakistan-based JeM taking responsibility, later that month, India carried out precision strikes on Pakistan's terror launchpads.