Abu Dujana: Another name struck off who’s who list of Kashmir’s most wanted
The Lashkar-e-Taiba commander carried the highest A++ label and was among the list of Valley’s 12 most active militantsUpdated: Aug 01, 2017, 18:12 IST
Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Abu Dujana, killed by security forces on Tuesday, was among the most wanted active militants in the Kashmir valley, carrying a rare Rs 15 lakh bounty on his head with an ‘A++’ label.
The security establishment classifies militants as ‘A’ or ‘A++’, ranking them in an order of notoriety with ‘A++’ denoting the highest. The Indian army had on May 30 named 12 of the most active militants in the region, listing out their areas of operation with their names and photographs. The list includes members of LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
The A++ label was also given to Burhan Wani, the Hizbul commander whose death in July last year triggered one of the worst phases of violence for the Valley. The category normally carries a bounty of Rs 10-12 lakh.
Dujana is the second A++ category militant to have been killed since the list was released, the first being Bashir Lashkari, who was involved in the killing of six policemen in Anantnag.
Lashkari, born Bashir Ahmad Wani, was the district commander of the LeT in Anantnag. A resident of Sopshail Kokernag, he joined the militancy in October 2015.
The list of 12 includes Altaf Dar, Zakir Musa, Abu Hamas, Reyaz Naikoo, Showkat Tak and Wasim Ahmed. In addition to Dujana and Lashkari, Junaid Mattoo was killed by security forces in June. He, however, had the A category.
Naikoo and Musa are the more active ones among these.
On Sunday, Naikoo – a top commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen in south Kashmir – appeared at the funeral of militant Shariq Ahmed in Gulzarpora village of Awantipora. “Linking our struggle with Al Qaeda and ISIS is a ploy to defame it,” he reportedly said at the funeral.
Naikoo asked people not to support those “who oppose the Pakistani flag” and described their struggle as one of “freedom from India”.
His comments came less than a week after Musa was declared by Al Qaeda as the head of its first branch in the region.
Musa broke away from the Hizbul after being criticized for a controversial statement when he sought the beheading of separatist leaders.
He differs from organizations like Hizbul by advocating Islamic rule in the region.
Musa popularity is seen to be increasing in the strife-torn Valley, and slogans in support of his cause are reportedly being shouted in pro-Azaadi gatherings and protests.
The other A++ category militants maintain a low profile. Abu Hamas is a Pakistani, like Dujana, and according to the army, has been active in the Valley since last year. He is a JeM divisional commander.
Altaf Dar alias Kachroo of the Hizbul is the district commander of Kulgam. A native of Hawara, Kulgam, he was recruited in militant ranks in 2006.
Wasim Ahmed is a surviving militant of the Burhan Wani group and is an LeT commander in Shopian. A native of Hef Shirmal in Shopian, he joined the militancy in 2014.
Kashmir police had said earlier this year that there are around 200 militants active in Kashmir Valley, with around 110 of them being local youth.
News agency PTI reported in July that forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police have killed 102 alleged terrorists till now this year, making it the highest number of killings in the January-July period in seven years.
Last year, official figures say around 150 militants were gunned down in J-K in encounter with security forces.