Zakir Musa, the most wanted militant from Jammu and Kashmir who headed Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind, was killed during a brief encounter with the security forces in Dadsara Tral region of South Kashmir on Thursday. The security forces conducted a cordon and search operation in the area after a tip-off suspecting Zakir's presence at a house in the area. The militants holed up in the house were asked to surrender, but on refusal, they were engaged in a brief encounter. The officials later confirmed that one of the militants killed was Zakir Musa. The forces also recovered an AK-47 rifle and a rocket launcher from their possession.
The District Administration Kashmir has ordered for a shutdown of schools, colleges and various institutions on Friday to avoid any violence or problems in law and order situation following the killing of Zakir Musa.
Who was Zakir Musa?
Zakir Musa or Zakir Rashid Bhat, believed to be the successor of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, dissociated himself from the outfit to start his own affiliate of Al-Qaeda group based in Afghanistan. Zakir, like Burhan Wani, expressed his opinions on social media and particularly came to limelight when he called for beheading the senior separatist Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir.
He accused the Hurriyat leaders of "forgetting Kashmir cause" by calling it a mere political issue when it was religious in nature. Zakir had also said that he would erect the Islamic flag on the Indian subcontinent.
Zakir's opinions were often found similar to ISIS, although he had denied links to the group.
Surprisingly, Zakir came from a well-educated family from Tral and was pursuing an engineering course in Chandigarh. He eventually dropped out of the college and joined militancy in 2013. His father Abdul Rashid Bhat is an engineer working with the J&K government.
Zakir Musa also made his presence felt by attending the various militant funerals across South Kashmir where the slogans" Musa Musa" reverberated, making him quite popular. Zakir also launched an attack on Narendra Modi by saying that he would liberate India from "cow-worshipping PM".