Most wanted LeT commander flees from security cordon

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 29: The most wanted Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander of Kashmir valley and his deputy today fled from the security cordon after they were trapped in a South Kashmir village this morning.
Police and Army in a joint operation launched this morning trapped the Divisional Commander of the LeT, Qasim, and District Commander of the outfit, Mudasir Sheikh in village Brinail in Pirpanchal mountains.
As the police and Army laid siege, the two commanders got trapped inside the village. Fierce gun fight followed which continued for an hour.
However, police sources said that Qasim who is a Pakistani militant fired a rifle grenade towards the troops and fled from the rear end of the village. Security forces fired at the two fleeing commanders but could not kill or trap them.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that massive operation was launched in nearby villages and orchards to trace out the two commanders who fled from the security cordon. The operation was, however, called off in the evening as security forces could not trace them out as the terrain is very difficult.
Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Dr B N Ramesh who visited the village during the operation told reporters that though today the militants escaped but tomorrow they might be killed.
Mohammad Qasim, who is a Pakistani militant and has taken over charge of South Kashmir after the killing of Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Bhai last year in October is most wanted militant in South Kashmir as he is the brain behind the recent upsurge in militancy in South Kashmir.
Qasim shifted his base from Dacchigam area in the outskirts of Srinagar to South Kashmir soon after the killing of Rehman Bhai to become divisional commander of LeT for South Kashmir. Qasim is a Pakistani national and has reportedly infiltrated into Kashmir valley in 2010. He lied low and was hiding in the Dacchigam forests for almost 18 months. He was preferred over Sajjad who was to replace Rehman Bhai as the divisional commander of the LeT for his foreign origin.
Mudasir Sheikh of village Yemrach Kulgam is also thought to be a dreaded militant and has been reviving militancy in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district by luring young boys to militancy and is also involved in several attacks.
Massive hunt for Qasim was launched soon after the attack on Army in Pampore in which one Army jawan was killed and the other injured on July 7 this year. This is for the first time since then that the security forces came so close to Qasim but he gave them a slip.
Police believed that the LeT divisional commander Qasim carried out the Pampore attack with two more LeT commanders Bilal Ahmad and Imtiaz Teli while senior most commander of the outfit Sajjad planned the attack. Since then massive hunt for these four militants is on.

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