Army just short of ‘Mission Accomplished’ in eliminating Burhan Wani gang
New Delhi: There is just one member of the Burhan Wani gang left to be eliminated. The killing of Waseem Shah in an encounter on Friday marked the death of the 9th member of the Burhan Wani faction of the Hizbul Mujahideen. One surrendered and one is still on the run. The gang had in all 11 members.
Amidst the killing of Waseem Shah who had moved to the Lashkar-e-Taiba after the death of Wani comes a fresh directive from the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. He has instructed the forces in the Valley to either kill or capture every commander before the winter sets in. Unless the commanders are killed, peace cannot be restored in the Valley, Doval said.
The Army prior to the launch of Operation Clean Up or Operation All Out had prepared a kill list of 223. As of today 171 terrorists have been killed in encounters and what is significant is that most of them have been top commanders of the outfits such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Currently, there are just a handful of commanders remaining in the Valley while the rest are foot soldiers. Doval feels that the Army and the police should focus on cleaning up the commanders as it leads to shaking up the unit. He also feels that all the commanders must be cleaned up before the winter sets in.
Once the winter sets in, the infiltrations stop. If the commanders are cleaned up by then, it would help in maintaining peace in Jammu and Kashmir, he says.
Further, there is also a need to maintain a very strict vigil along the border areas since Pakistan would up the ante and try sending more terrorists before the winter sets in. If the commanders are targeted before the winter sets in, then terror groups would not be able to carry out attacks in the Valley as the numbers would have dwindled.
One to go:
Wiping out the Wani faction was the biggest successes that the forces have achieved. The clean up began with the killing of Wani in 2015. One of the 11 terrorists Tariq Pandit surrendered while another, Salim Padder is still at large.
Padder who is still part of the Hizbul Mujahideen is believed to be hiding somewhere in South Kashmir. Intelligence Bureau officials are on the trail of Padder with the help of the local police. An officer with the IB says that it is just a matter of time before they get to Padder. The Forces have successfully wiped out 9 members of the gang and ensured the surrender of one. Padder cannot hide for too long and he will be rounded up soon, the officer also says.
When Wani posted the picture on the social media, it went extremely viral. In fact it managed to sway the mood of several youngsters in Kashmir which took up arms. However the picture also helped the security forces identify the danger elements following which they were taken down one by one.