In an alarming development for the Indian security forces, latest media reports suggest that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar has sent Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, an Afghan war veteran, to Jammu and Kashmir to avenge the 2017 killing of his nephews. The terrorist is an IED expert, who has also been tasked to train young recruits. According to a report published on news portal The Print, Ghazi infiltrated from Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the month of December last year. Usman and Talha Rasheed were gunned down by the security forces in an anti-terror operation in 2017. The report says that the dreaded terrorist has been hiding in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.
The development comes at a time when the security forces are continuing the anti-terror ‘Operation All Out’ in the troubled Valley. As many as 257 terrorists were killed across Jammu and Kashmir last year, Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. The state has witnessed the deadliest year in decades gone by. According to a Union Home Ministry report, there were 37 civilian causalities, but human rights groups have claimed that the fatalities were over 100.
Meanwhile, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat visited the south Kashmir area on Wednesday to review the security situation and counter-insurgency operations in the region, officials said. "Continuing with his visit to the Valley, the Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat reviewed the prevailing security situation and strategy for counter terrorist operations in the hinterland," an army official had said.
Accompanied by the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Rawat was briefed by the Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen A K Bhatt at Badami Bagh Cantonment on the overall situation and major operational, informational, logistical and administrative aspects pertaining to the Corps, the official said. Rawat visited the formations and units deployed in south Kashmir, where he was briefed by the local Commanders on existing security situation and the measures instituted to ensure close coordination with all government agencies towards maintaining vigil and peace in the Valley, the official added.
During his interaction with the soldiers on ground, the Chief of Army Staff lauded them for their high levels of morale and dedication and further reinforced the need to be prepared to meet emerging security challenges effectively, the official added. Rawat had arrived here on Tuesday on a two-day visit.