Kashmir under clampdown after Zakir Musa’s killing, no Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid, schools shut, internet censored

Srinagar: Authorities on Friday imposed restrictions on movement and communication in the valley, 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. 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 and the speed of fixed landline broadband connections were reduced to prevent uploading of content.

Authorities also disallowed Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar for the second time in the holy month of Ramzan.

Chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the chief cleric of the historic Mosque, condemned the barring of mandatory Friday prayers at the Mosque.

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

The gunfight broke out after a joint team of the army and the SOG launched a cordon-and-search operation in Dadsara village last evening amid intelligence reports about the presence of one of the Kashmir’s most wanted militant commander Zakir Musa.

A police officer said that Musa turned down offer to surrender and fired UBGL grenades and opened fire.

Thousands of people participated in Musa’s funeral. People from various parts of Pulwama district reached Noorpora despite restrictions and rains to participate in the last rites of Musa who was killed by the armed forces in a gunfight last night.

Body of Musa who was killed in a gunfight last night in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district was handed over to his family for last rites this morning.

Musa first joined the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit in 2013 and went on to become close aide of Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.

After Wani’s killing in July 2016 Musa took over the command. However, he hit the headlines in the summer of 2017 when in a video message he declared fighting for caliphate and not for joining Pakistan or creating an independent state. He also threatened Hurriyat leadership of dire consequences who he thought were a hurdle in the establishment of caliphate.

However, his views were not endorsed by Hizb leadership following which he parted ways and formed his own outfit Ansar Ghazwat Ul Hind.

Musa came from a well off family. His father Abdul Rashid Bhat is a retired assistant executive engineer. His elder brother Shakir Rashid Bhat is an orthopedic surgeon and his sister Shaheena Rashid Bhat is a banker.


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