Zakir Musa's successor Hameed Lelhari, who was also the chief of al-Qaida in Kashmir, has been gunned down by security forces on Tuesday (October 22) evening. 30-year-old Hameed Lelhari, a native of Pulwama, was named the new commander of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) after Zakir Musa's death earlier this year.
Three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora. Jammu and Kashmir Police have identified the terrorists -- Naveed Tak, Hamid Lone aka Hamid Lelhari and Junaid Bhat. Arms and ammunition have been recovered from the site of the incident.
Taking to Twitter, the Kashmir Zone Police said, "#Awantipora #encounter update: 03 #killed #terrorists identified as Naveed Tak, Hamid Lone @ Hamid Lelhari and Junaid Bhat involved in several #terrorcrimes. #Arms & ammunition recovered. Case registered. @JmuKmrPolice"
On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh addressed a press conference in Srinagar, saying "Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind group has been wiped out." "In Tral, 3 local militants associated Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind were killed yesterday. Before that, in an operation in Anantnag, 3 militants were neutralised," the J&K DGP added.
Dilbag Singh also said that terrorism can only be curbed if the local youth of Kashmir do not take the path of militancy and choose the path of peace.
Who was Zakir Musa
Zakir Musa was the top militant commander in the Kashmir Valley. He headed the Al Qaeda affiliate AGH who was killed by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
Zakir Musa was also a close associate of Burhan Wani who was gunned down by the forces in 2017. Musa succeeded Burhan and later headed the al-Qaida affiliate. Like Burhan Wani, Musa used to express his opinions through social media. Musa had taken to militancy in 2013.
The killing of Zakir Musa is seen as a massive success for the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.