On Thursday, security forces killed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Kashmir chief Abu Ismail, and his associate, Abu Qasim, in one of the briefest operations in Kashmir.
Ismail was trapped and gunned down on a road side in the Nowgam area of Srinagar. Sources said that the forces took him unaware as they encircled Ismail and his associates while walking on the road. They were planning a big militant strike in Kashmir after having moved to Srinagar.
"Abu Ismail had 15 FIRs against him for murder, dacoity and other militancy-related incidents," Kashmir police chief Munir Khan said, adding that two AK-47 rifles and other materials were recovered from the dead bodies.
Involved in multiple attacks in Kashmir
Ismail was allegedly the mastermind behind the Amarnath Yatra attack where militants had attacked a yatri bus and a police party in Anantnag along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway in south Kashmir. Seven pilgrims were killed while twelve including three policemen were injured in the attack. The attack had broken a 15-year stint where militants had not attacked pilgrims on the Amarnath Yatra.
In the aftermath of the attack, News18 had reported that security agencies had launched a manhunt to hunt down Ismail. Khan had earlier told reporters that there were credible inputs that the LeT outfit was responsible for the attack.
Ismail was also said to be involved in a number of militant attacks including one close to the Indian Army headquarter in Srinagar that left an assistant sub inspector of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a constable dead and three soldiers injured. The attack near the army headquarter was carried out by Ismail on a patrol party of CRPF personnel near the Delhi Public School, which culminated with the killing of two militants as they remained holed up inside school complex for hours on the eve of Eid. Ismail had escaped in that incident.
Ismail had also escaped after attacking a police party at the Achabal area of Anantnag, in which six policemen including a SHO were killed. He had also carried out the attack on an army convoy in Qazigund on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in June 2017 in which two army jawans were killed and four others were injured.
A Pakistani national and the successor to Abu Dujana
Ismail was a Pakistani national and was considered the successor to Abu Dujana, the slain commander of the LeT in the Valley, according to the News18 report. He was from Mirpur in Pakistan and was between 23 to 24 years old. According to NDTV, he had come over from Pakistan about two years ago.
Ismail had been looting banks over the past year and had funnelled that money into LeT operations in Kashmir, reported India Today. He had a Rs 10 lakh bounty on him and had been classified as a category A terrorist. He was also involved in the killing of a sarpanch in April.
He had had narrow escapes twice in the last year as security forces were able to track him down but he managed to escape before they reached him. He had also been known to use the bank robbery money to fund his womanising ways.
The forces expect a vaccum in the LeT leadership now, which will give them more opportunities, said Major General BS Raju, general officer commanding of Victor Force.
Updated Date: Sep 15, 2017 09:21 AM