Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Army would neutralise any terrorists entering Indian territory, after Indian forces killed the nephew of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar in Pulwama in a gunfight. The Army chief also said the recovery of an assault rifle used by NATO forces in Afghanistan with the killed Jaish terrorists showed that they were getting support from the other side of the border, in a reference to Pakistan. Talha Rasheed, nephew of Masood Azhar, was among three militants killed in a gunfight with forces in Aglar village in Pulwama in south Kashmir on Monday night. “Operations are going on. As I said, the operations will continue. If any terrorists 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 said on the sidelines of an event in Delhi. “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 terrorists – Mehmood Bhai, a foreign terrorist, and Wasim Ahmed Ganai, a local terrorist were killed. Among the items recovered from the terrorists, 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 terrorist was circulated on social media holding another variant of the M-16 rifle.
The American origin gun is used by NATO forces in Afghanistan, and questions have been raised how it reached the terrorists. Asked about the presence of the weapon with the terrorists, General Rawat said: “You can see sometime back this weapon was shown in media that they (terrorists) have this weapon. It shows they are getting support across the border.” The forces also recovered AK-74 rifles, pistols, and matrix sheets from the terrorists. One Army soldier was also killed in the firefight.