Zakir Musa's 'deputy' killed

Zakir Musa's 'deputy' killed

An army spokesman colonel Rajesh Kalia said that a cordon-and-search operation was launched in Reshipora on Monday night “following a credible input” about presence of militants in the area.

A top militant commander from Zakir Musa-led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind outfit was killed in a gunfight with government forces in Reshipora village in Tral on Tuesday.

According to the police, the slain militant commander Shakir Hassan Dar, son of Ghulam Hassan, from Ratsuna village in the southern township was a deputy chief of the AGH.

However, various media reports  claimed that Zakir Musa’s another close associate Sauliha Mohammad alias Rehan is the deputy chief of Ansar Gazwat ul Hind.

An army spokesman colonel Rajesh Kalia said that a cordon-and-search operation was launched in Reshipora on Monday night “following a credible input” about presence of militants in the area.

The Jammu and Kashmir police, army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles and 180 battalion Central Reserve Police Force were involved in the operation during which a lone militant, trapped in a house, was killed, a senior police officer said.

During the gunfight, two residential houses, a cowshed and a bathroom were damaged.

Following the encounter, all shops and business establishments in Tral areas were closed while public and private transport went off the roads. The mobile internet service was also suspended.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, director general of police Dilbag Singh said Shakir’s killing “will cause a blow to the Zakir Musa-led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind”.

Local residents told Greater Kashmir that guns started roaring with the first light of the day.

“The entire area shook with huge blasts which also flattened two residential houses,” they said.

 

WHO WAS SHAKIR HASSAN DAR?

Shakir Hassan Dar was considered as a close associate of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani before becoming a close associate of Zakir Musa.

Shakir joined militancy on 13 April 2015 when Burhan’s elder brother Khalid Muzaffar was killed in Kamla forests of Tral and was affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen.

In 2017, Shakir joined Musa who parted ways with Hizb and established a new outfit, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.

A police official said Shakir along with another active militant Sauliha were “chief architects of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. The outfit is mostly active in police district Awantipora”.

Shakir hails from Rathsuna village of Tral, the native place of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat.

Both Sabzar and Shakir joined Hizb in 2015 when the former managed to snatch a rifle from a CRPF man. Sabzar was killed in May last year during a gunfight in Saimoh village in Tral.

 

FUNERAL, CLASHES

Thousands turned up at the funeral of Shakir while a few armed militants also surfaced and offered a gun salute to their fallen colleague.

Hundreds of mourners including local Sikhs and Pandits started arriving in Rathsuna for the last glimpse of Shakir.

His body was later taken to his ancestral graveyard where thousands of people participated in his funeral prayers.

A large number of people assembled outside Shakir’s house and chanted pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans.

Dozens of women showered rose petals and candies on his body from rooftops and windows of their homes.

Amid sobs and cries all around, Shakir was laid to rest in the evening, even as his friends including some from Sikh community kissed him for the last time.

 

CLASHES IN PINGLISH

Forces resorted to aerial firing and tear-gas shelling to break up protests during a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Pinglish village of Tral.

A witness said intense clashes broke out after youth took to streets to disrupt an anti-militancy operation.

Militants had Monday evening opened fire on an army patrolling party in the area. The army retaliated, leading to a brief exchange of fire, an official said.