Zakir Musa, Kashmir's Most Wanted Terrorist, Killed In Encounter

Saturday, 25 May, 2019

A top militant commander, Zakir Rashid Bhat, popularly known as Zakir Musa, was reportedly killed on Thursday evening after joint forces, working on a special intelligence, trapped him near his home in the Tral area of south Kashmir.

They said two terrorists were killed in the encounter but there was no confirmation about their identities as the bodies were yet to be retrieved.

The journey of Zakir Rashid Bhat, from a well-to-do middle-class family of Noorpora village in Jammu and Kashmir's Tral area to becoming "Zakir Musa" or the most wanted militant in Kashmir reads like a Bollywood blockbuster.

"Assuredly moving towards #TerrorismFreeKashmir".

Musa later took Wani's place, but in 2017 broke away from the group to form Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, which officials say was an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in Kashmir. "The inputs pointed to the presence of Zakir Musa at a particular house at Dadsara village of Tral".

On Friday, after killing of Zakir the authorities also managed to control the law and order situation in the Valley, unlike in 2016 when the killing of Burhan Wani led to an uprising in valley.

Son of a senior government engineer and himself an engineering student at Chandigarh, Musa joined militancy in 2013 at the age of 19.

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

"In return he fired a grenade followed by bullets and was later killed during the ensuing gun battle", the officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity. NIA said the accused were cadres of AGuH, a "Kashmir based terrorist outfit with a Pan-Islamic ideology".

Restrictions have been also imposed in Pulwama, Aawntipora and Tral area of South Kashmir to prevent protests against Moosa's killing.

In a video message, Musa claimed that most people in Kashmir were involved in and were a part of a fight for a secular state, which was "haram" in Islam, and threatened the Hurriyat leaders with dire consequences. This year, more than 70 rebels have been killed so far, majority in the villages of southern Kashmir - a rebel stronghold.

A day after he was killed, a curfew was imposed in various parts of Kashmir as a precautionary measure.

All Kashmir rebel groups rejected Musa and his al-Qaida affiliate, some even calling him inimical to their cause.

"Musa's name was often chanted at militant funerals and had become a kind of an icon among the youth...he had potential to recruit more people (into the militancy)".