Srinagar: Kashmir’s most wanted militant commander Zakir Musa, who headed the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind, was killed, in a gunfight with armed forces in Tral area of south Kashmir on Thursday evening.
Zakir 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.
Zakir 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.
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’.
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.