Top terror commander of al-Qaeda affiliate Zakir Musa killed, curfew imposed in parts of Kashmir 

WION Srinagar May 24, 2019, 06.00 PM(IST) Written By: Ieshan Bashir Wani

File photo Photograph:( WION )

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Following a tip-off about the presence of terrorists, a joint team of Army, Jammu and Kashmir police conducted a search operation on Thursday evening in Dadsara village which led to an encounter. 

In a major breakthrough, security forces in south Kashmir's Dadsara village have eliminated Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Zakir Musa, chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, an affliate of al-Qaeda in the Jammu and Kashmir. 

Following a tip-off about the presence of terrorists, a joint team of Army, Jammu and Kashmir police conducted a search operation on Thursday evening in Dadsara village which led to an encounter. 

Within minutes of firing, Al-Sindh, an al-Qaeda media outlets asked people to help Musa escape, as he was trapped by forces. During the overnight gunbattle that followed Zakir's body was recovered from the encounter site.  

Sources said Zakir tried to escape from the house and was shot dead in a nearby orchard. 

"Zakir had a long history of terror crime records since 2013. He was initially associated with proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). Later he floated new terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH). 

He was wanted for his role in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities," J&K police said in a statement. 

Fearing violence, the administration imposed curfew in parts of Kashmir valley and curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar city. Security forces were deployed in strength and barbed wires were installed in major roads.

 At some locations, police asked people to stay indoors. Amid tense situation, authorities ordered to shut schools, colleges and universities in the region. 

Meanwhile, Protests erupted in several districts of Kashmir valley including Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama and other places. 

"Post-encounter security scenario was managed well. There hasn't been any law and order incident reported so far. There have been some areas where restrictions have been imposed," SP Pani, Inspector general of police Kashmir range said. 

Who was Zakir Musa? 

Zakir Musa, a top wanted terrorists, who was associated with Pakistan backed HM from 2013. He was made commander of the group and succeeded Burhan Wani after his killing in 2016. But in 2017, he left the group after rift with the leadership. 

Later, he founded Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. Zakir openly threatened Hurriyat leadership for their pro-Pakistan idea and criticised people for raising Pakistani flag. Instead, he stood for the global Islamic movement of al-Qaeda, the idea of which was criticised by many in Kashmir.

He was declared as a proclaimed offender by NIA special court Mohali, Punjab in NIA case involving serial blasts at Jalandhar, Punjab in September 2018. Several members of his group have been eliminated in the past while others have been arrested in several areas.