Top JeM terrorist commander killed in Pulwama

NIA arrests 9 terror associates after multiple raids


SRINAGAR, Oct 13: Top terrorist commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) Sham Sofi was killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district on Wednesday, police said.
Acting on specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in Tilwani Mohalla Waggad in the Tral area of Awantipora, in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, security forces launched a cordon and search operation there, a police official said.
He said an encounter broke out after the militants opened fire at the security personnel, who retaliated.
In the exchange of fire, a militant was killed, the official said.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said the slain terrorist has been identified as Sham Sofi who was a top JeM commander.
"Top JeM Commander #terrorist Sham Sofi killed in Tral #Encounter," the IGP said on Kashmir Zone Police's Twitter handle.
During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained, they were given repeated opportunities to surrender; instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter one terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of encounter. He has been identified as Shamus-ud-Din Sofi alias ShamSofi a top commander of proscribed terror outfit JeM.
As per police records, the killed terrorist was categorized and active since June-2019 figuring among the list of most wanted terrorists operating in the valley. He was also part of groups involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities to which several terror crime cases stands already registered against him.
Pertinently, the killed terrorist was first arrested in year 2004 & detained under PSA. He was also involved in providing logistic support, shelter to the active terrorists operating in Tral area before joining terror folds. Moreover, he was also involved in motivating local youth to join terror folds, reviving the terror folds in Tral area and conspiring to destabilize the system by means of various terror acts. Besides, he was also involved in threatening the law abiding citizens and policemen also.
Incriminating materials including arms & ammunition were also recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation. Police has registered a case under relevant sections of law and further investigation is in progress.
IGP Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar-IPS has congratulated the joint forces for the big success that led to the elimination of most wanted terrorist involved in several terror crime cases.
However, the NIA has arrested nine terror associates during searches at 18 locations in Jammu and Kashmir after registration of a case over a conspiracy launch attacks in the union territory and other major cities including New Delhi, an official said on Wednesday.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered the case on October 10 and initiated an investigation.
An NIA spokesperson said a total of nine people were arrested -- five on Wednesday and four a day earlier -- after multiple searches in different districts of the valley over the past two days.
The NIA identified the five accused arrested on Wednesday as Mohammad Haneed Chiralu and Arif Farooq Bhat of Srinagar, Hafeez of Budgam, Owais Dar of Pulwama and Mateen Bhat of Shopian.
"The NIA conducted searches at two locations in Srinagar and seized electronic devices and incriminating Jihadi documents," the spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The NIA also said during the day that four accused people -- Waseem Ahmad Sofi, Tariq Ahmad Dar, Bilal Ahmad Mir alias Bilal Fafu and Tariq Ahmad Bafanda, all residents of Srinagar -- were arrested during the searches carried out at 16 locations in Srinagar, Pulwama and Shopian districts on Tuesday.
The spokesperson said preliminary investigation has revealed that the nine arrested accused are terror associates or Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of various proscribed terrorist organisations and have been providing logistical and material support to terrorists and facilitating them in their nefarious designs.
"During the searches conducted yesterday (Tuesday), several electronic devices, incriminating Jihadi (holy war) documents and records of suspicious financial transactions were seized," the spokesperson said.
The NIA said the case pertains to alleged hatching of a conspiracy both physically and in cyberspace to carry out violent terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir and other major cities, including New Delhi, by the cadres of the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Al Badr and other similar outfits and their affiliates such as The Resistance Front (TRF) and People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF).
"The terror associates/Over Ground Workers of these organisations are conspiring with their handlers and commanders based in a neighbouring country and also indulging in radicalisation of local youth for the purpose of recruiting and training them in handling of arms, ammunition and explosives," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said these terrorists and cadres have effected several terrorist acts including the killing of numerous innocent civilians and security personnel, and unleashed a reign of terror in the Kashmir valley, thereby challenging the writ of the state.
The NIA said further investigation in the case continues.

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