Abu Ismail, the terrorist who masterminded and led the Amarnath yatra attack has been killed in an encounter. After months of tracking he was traced to Aribagh in Jammu and Kashmir. An associate of his was also killed in the encounter. He has been identified as Chhota Qasim. Both Ismail and Qasim were residents of Pakistan.
The encounter which was fierce lasted a couple of hours before both Ismail and his associate were killed by security forces. The Director General of Police S P Vaid informed that specific intelligence on the movements of the terrorists was available.
Read | Abu Ismail Case File
Based on specific inputs, the security forces cordoned off the area in which both were staying. An official informed OneIndia that the bodies of both the terrorists have been recovered.
In July terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba opened fired on a bus from Gujarat carrying pilgrims. 8 yatris were killed in the attack. Detailed investigations showed that Ismail was involved in the attack. The police said that he had masterminded the attack and was also present at the crime scene. He was the first to open fire on the bus, the police also said.
The killing of Ismail is a major success. He is the fourth A++ terrorist to be killed in Kashmir in recent months after Abu Dujana, Sabzar Bhat and Burhan Wani.
Ismail in his mid 30s had been part of the Lashkar for the past seven years. He was part of a camp comprising 200 terrorists who had been training to launch attacks in India. He recently took over as the Lashkar chief in Kashmir from Abu Dujana who was killed in an encounter.
IB officials say that the investigations suggested that Ismail had activated the over ground operatives of the Lashkar in the Valley to carry out the attack.
Ismail apart from activating his over ground operatives also got in touch with some locals of the Hizbul Mujahideen. The cadres of the Hizbul had helped in logistics which were in turn shared with the Lashkar. The local Hizbul operatives are more familiar with the area, officials said.