SRINAGAR Despite curfew and rain, tens of thousands of people attended the funeral of Zakir Musa, described as most wanted militant commander, who headed the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind in Kashmir.
People especially youth from various parts of Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian districts and other areas reached Noorpora to participate in the last rites of Musa who was killed by the government forces in a gunfight on Friday morning. Musa was later laid to rest amid pro-freedom slogans, they said.
The students of Kashmir University offered prayers for the militant commander and then dispersed peacefully, the officials said.
Musa had escaped from the house where he was initially trapped but was killed at the crack of dawn in an orchard in Dadsara village of Tral area.
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Army along with paramilitary forces and police had started a cordon and search operation last evening following information about the presence of militants there.
An official said Musa was asked to surrender but instead he hurled grenades and started firing, which was retaliated, triggering off an encounter.He said more government forces were rushed to the area to prevent him from escaping under the cover of darkness. The house in which Musa was trapped was razed to rubble but he had managed to escape even as an AK-rifle and a rocket was recovered from there. He was trapped in a nearby orchard and was killed after a brief gunfight on Friday morning, the official added.
A police spokesman said that Zakir had a long history of militant records since 2013. He was initially associated with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit and then he floated a new militant outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH).
He was wanted by law for his complicity in a series of militant crimes including attack on security establishments, the spokesman said.
As per police records, the spokesman said, Zakir was involved in planning and executing a series of attacks in the area. He was involved in cases pertaining to the grenade attack on government forces at Noorpora, abduction and killing of a civilian Firdous Ahmad Hurrah of Dusoo Pulwama, inciting youth for militant activities, killing of a civilian lady Hameed Bano of Noorpora, snatching of weapons from government forces, arson act on Govt Higher Secondary School Dadsara, anti-National activities, militant activities, bank dacoity at J&K Bank Noorpora, raising of funds for militant activities.
Further, he was declared as a pro-claimed offender by NIA special court Mohali Punjab on 2 May 2019 in NIA case RC-39/2018/NIA/DLI. The case pertains to his involvement in serial blasts at Jalandhar Punjab on 14 September 2018 for which case FIR No. 163/2018 was registered at Police Station Maqsudan Jalandhar. The investigation of the case was later taken by NIA, the spokesman said.