Home Ministry Wants Abu Dujana’s Scalp, Forces On Tenterhooks

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Srinagar: In a straight-talk, the Union Home ministry has sought a major crackdown to “eliminate” top Lashkar –e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana –putting the security forces on tenterhooks in restive Kashmir, where militancy is on revival.

Highly placed sources said during Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent Kashmir-visit, which coincided with the commencement of annual Amarnath Yatra, threadbare discussion on Abu Dujana topped the agenda of security meetings, while general revival of militancy equally remained in discussion.

Sources said tracking down Abu Dujana has emerged as a major reason why the union government plans to replace Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) with Border Security Forces(BSF) as the latter had been “successful in  eliminating big militant commanders like parliament attack mastermind Ghazi Baba.”

Sources said there were intelligence inputs that LeT militants have been active along the Yatra route, a concern for the government.

While flying back to the national capital, Rajnath Singh is understood to have asked the security forces to “accomplish the mission in a time-bound manner.”

Sources said the security forces have been asked to “frame a joint strategy whereby police, paramilitary and the Army operate in coordination with the intelligence operatives to achieve the goal.”

Officials said Abu Dujana has been into focus since last month when Lashkar militants attacked a CRPF bus on Pampore highway leaving eight paramilitary personnel dead and 21 others injured.

A three-member team earlier sent by the Home ministry had consolidated a report, which was tabled before Rajnath Singh ahead of his visit.

Sources said the report envisaged that Abu Dujana was a “driving force” against such militant attacks. “He managed to execute Pampore strike though security forces already had intelligence inputs about the same… So this shows his level of expertise,” said an official asking not to be identified.

Abu Dujana, replaced Abu Qasim as Lashkar head in October 2015 when the latter was killed in a gunfight in Pulwama district.  

The government has been saying that Abu Dujana was one of the key planners of many highway attacks.

Police sources said he was last spotted in Pulwama, when he attended funeral of a slain militant. “He was escorted by a team of 5-6 armed men,” the sources said.

A video linked to the event, shows Dujana delivering a speech to the villagers who had assembled for the last rites. He is heard exhorting locals to take up the gun for freedom.

Dujana, who is in his mid-twenties, is wanted by the security forces for his role in the Udhampur attack, in which two BSF personnel were killed and a dozen injured.

Believed to be a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan, police said Abu Dujana has been an active member of the LeT for the last four years.

 

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