In a major breakthrough for the Indian security forces, one of the two terrorists that were gunned during the encounter at Tral, J&K, turned out to be the nephew of one of the most wanted terrorist on India’s hit list, Jaish-e-Muhammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar.
Following a day long encounter in the Chaanketaar village near Tral, situated in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, two terrorists were gunned down by the security forces. One of them was Usman Haider, who happened to be the nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar. An M4A1 Carbine assault rifle was recovered from his possession, possibly used for sniper attacks on security forces, as reported by the officials to PTI.
Only a couple of days ago, Army chief General Bipin Rawat was analyzing the role of sniper attacks in some of the recent killings of security personnel. To quote his observation, ‘Whether these attacks have been done by snipers or not, is something we are still studying. But to say that snipers have infiltrated and that they have sniper weapon, we have not found any sniper weapon,” he had said.
Maulana’s nephew, Usman Haider, was a notorious sniper and a hot pursuit for the Indian security forces, for the spate of attacks on the Indian security forces that had increased in the past two months.
Maulana Masood Azhar is a dreaded Islamic cleric from Bahawalpur, Pakistan, who had founded the terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad. He was one of the brains behind the dreaded Kashmir holocaust and was arrested in Srinagar, in 1994.
Unfortunately, his prison time didn’t last long and he was unfortunately released along with Sheikh Muhammad Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in exchange for the passengers of the IC 814 Indian Airlines flight, hijacked by terrorists led by Maulana’s brothers Ibrahim Athar and Abdul Rauf Asghar at Kandahar in 1999.
Ever since his release, he has been an eyesore for India, carrying out dreaded attacks on Indian soil such as the Parliament attacks of 2001, the attacks of 26/11, the Pathankot attacks, the list goes on. He is well protected by the state of Pakistan and our repeated requests to declare him an international criminal stand vetoed by China, at the behest of their Pakistani allies.
As such, the death of his nephew, on Indian soil, at the hands of Indian security forces, will be a major blow to his nefarious plans. Only last year, Maulana had lost his other nephew, Talha Rashid, to the resolve of the Indian soldiers in Pulwama. Even the operational head of the outfit, Mufti Yasir, was gunned down by the security forces last year. It is only a matter of time before Maulana meets a similar fate.
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