Zakir Musa killing: Clampdown in Kashmir

Hours after Kashmir’s most wanted militant commander Zakir Musa, who headed the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind, was killed, nocturnal protests broke out in parts of Srinagar, Pulwama and Shopian forcing authorities on Friday to impose restrictions in parts of the valley.

After the body of the slain militant was handed over to his family for the final rights, all educational institutions across Jammu and Kashmir were shut down.

Mobile Internet services were snapped across the valley to maintain law and order. Even speed of fixed landline broadband connections were reduced to prevent uploading of inflammatory posts and pictures.

Heavy deployments have been made in capital city Srinagar, south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts among other areas.

Musa was killed late on Thursday by security forces in Pulwama district when security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Dadsara village of Tral area following information about militant presence.

“The trapped militant was persuaded to surrender. Instead he hurled grenades and started a gunfight, triggering an encounter,” a source said.

Real name, Zakir Rashid Bhat, Musa was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen who succeeded Burhan and later headed the Al Qaeda affiliate. He had taken to militancy in 2013.

An engineering student in Chandigarh who abandoned education and joined militancy, Musa was born in Noorpora village of Tral area.

The killing of Musa is seen as a big success for the security forces in their anti-militancy operations in Kashmir.

After Burhan Wani’s death, Zakir Musa threatened to behead Kashmiri separatist leaders of the Hurriyat Conference for calling Kashmir a political dispute instead of a religious struggle to establish an Islamic state.