Srinagar: Three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants, including its self-styled top commander Abdul Rehman alias Fauji Bayi, were killed in an encounter with security forces at Kangan village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday, officials said.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said Fauji Bayi hailed from Multan in Pakistan and was an IED expert. The ultra was active in Kashmir since 2017.
“His killing is the second biggest success for the security forces this year after the elimination of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo,” he said.
The officer said Fauji had also been involved in Afghanistan war but it could not be verified that he is a nephew of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
“He was an active terrorist but lower in rank based in Pulwama at a time when the Pulwama blast on a CRPF convoy in February 2019 took place, in which 40 CRPF jawans were martyred,” the IGP said.
Fauji was the mastermind of a car bomb that was timely detected by the security forces and defused in south Kashmir on May 28, he added.
Earlier a joint team of Army, police and CRPF cordoned off the village on a specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in that area.
The gunfight began at dawn when security forces closed in on the house where the terrorists were present. The terrorists fired at the security forces, triggering the encounter.
It was the second gunfight in the area in two days. On June 2, two JeM terrorists were killed in Tral area of Pulwama. Police had said both slain militants were Kashmiris.
The security forces have so far eliminated 75 terrorists in different operations in Kashmir so far this year.