New Delhi: Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said the Army would neutralise any militants entering Indian territory. The army chief was referring to the encounter in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district in which forces killed the nephew of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar.
General Rawat, while talking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Delhi said the recovery of an assault rifle used by NATO forces in Afghanistan with the killed Jaish militants showed that they were getting support from the other side of the border.
Notably, Talha Rasheed, nephew of Masood Azhar, was among three militants killed in a gunfight with forces in Aglar village in Pulwama on Monday night.
“Operations are going on. As I said, the operations will continue. If any militants carry out activities that put the life and property of our citizens at risk, if they target any building, police station or Army, they are troubling the citizens. Our attempt would be to neutralise whoever is involved in terror activities,” General Rawat added.
“Whether it is the nephew of Maulana Masood or anyone else, we are concerned only with finishing terror. We are not concerned what is their religion or other things,” he said.
Along with Rasheed, two more militants – Mehmood Bhai, a foreigner, and Wasim Ahmed Ganai, a local militant were killed.
Among the items recovered from the slain militants, were M4 carbines, a shorter and lighter variant of the American origin M-16 A2 assault rifle. The seizure comes days after a picture of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant was circulated on social media holding another variant of the M-16 rifle. The American origin gun is used by NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Asked about the presence of the weapon with the militants, General Rawat said: “You can see some time back this weapon was shown in media that they (militants) have this weapon. It shows they are getting support across the border.”
Interestingly, troops also recovered AK-74 rifles, pistols, and matrix sheets from the militants. An Army soldier was also killed in the firefight.