Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Qasim, accused of masterminding the Udhampur attack, was killed in an encounter with security forces on Thursday in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the army, Qasim was killed in the early hours of the morning after security forces launched an operation in Khandipora village of Kulgam following information about his presence.
“Top LeT commander Abu Qasim was killed in an operation in Khandipora in Kulgam district,” said an army official based in Srinagar.
Qasim was the alleged mastermind of the attack on the BSF convoy in Udhampur on August 5 in which two personnel were killed and and ten others were injured.
Pakistani militant Naveed was captured by villagers shortly after the attack. His accomplice Noman was killed during the encounter with security forces.
Qasim, who carried a bounty of Rs 20 lakh, was on the radar of the National Investigation Agency for a long while.
Earlier it was believed that Qasim was trapped in the ongoing operation in the forests of Bandipora in North Kashmir. The operation has been on for the last four days.
Operations to apprehend Qasim were intensified after his alleged involvement in the killing of Altaf Ahmad, a sub inspector of the Jammu and Kashmir police, earlier this month. The army has recovered an AK 47 rifle from the encounter site.
Abu Qasim alias Abdur Rehman, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan was called a “self-styled commander of LeT in South Kashmir” in the posters.
According to the police, Qasim had planned many such attacks in the past — which included the Hyderpora attack in 2013 in which eight army men were killed.
Qasim had allegedly arranged local transportation and accommodation to Naveed and his accomplices during the Udhampur terror attack. Naveed had told his interrogators that Qasim briefed them on the attack and had also given them a few thousand rupees for expenses.