In a significant development, Pulwama attack mastermind Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, his friend Kamran were reportedly killed by the Indian Army on Monday morning. Earlier they were encircled.
However, there is no official confirmation yet.
As many as 40 personnel were killed on February 14, when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama.
Sources: A top Jaish-e-Mohammed commander linked to #PulwamaAttack believed to be trapped in the ongoing encounter with security forces in Pulwama; Deferred visual from the encounter site in Pulwama pic.twitter.com/AK4TjTvfKe— ANI (@ANI) February 18, 2019
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday castigated Pakistan, accusing it of engineering the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
He claimed that the neighbouring country backed the attack after finding out that the terrorists have become frustrated in the wake of the successful operations by the Indian forces in the past five years.
"Pakistan, which has been patronising terrorism, realised that frustration and desperation had grown among the militants due to successful operations against them by our security forces in five years," Singh said at a public meeting on the outskirts of this north Odisha town.
Asserting that the security forces have been given a free hand to give a "befitting reply" to the attack, the Union home minister said the sacrifice made by the CRPF jawans would not go in vain.
Asserting that all political parties have pledged full support to the government and the defence forces, Singh said the entire nation stands behind the Army, who would certainly "teach the enemy a lesson".
(With inputs from agencies)