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Kashmir: Top LeT leader gives security forces the slip during combing operation

india Updated: Jul 20, 2017 00:01 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times
Abu Dujana,Lashkar e taiba,Pulwama

Police said they tracked Dujana to a village of Pulwama, and decided to launch a search operation. However, Dujana managed to escape before security forces reached the spot.(PTI File Photo)

Abu Dujana, the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top commander in south Kashmir, gave security forces the slip in Pulwama district on Thursday.

Police said they tracked Dujana to a village of Pulwama, and decided to launch a search operation. “We received inputs that it was him. However, Dujana managed to escape before security forces reached the spot,” Kashmir inspector general of police Muneer Khan told HT.

A local news portal reported that Dujana was accompanied by two of his associates, and there was a brief exchange of fire between militants and security forces. Khan, however, did not confirm this.

Dujana reportedly assumed command over the militant group in South Kashmir after the death of his predecessor, Abu Qasim. Since then, Dujana has escaped from the security forces several times. On some occasions, it was due to stone-pelters disrupting their cordon-and-search operations.

The militant commander, believed to be in his twenties, has a reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head and figures in the top A++ militant category. He is said to hail from the Gilgit-Baltistan region, and has been named by police as the mastermind in many militant attacks across south Kashmir.

Active since 2014, he has made many public appearances at funerals of his militant colleagues. This includes the one held for Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016.

In May, Dujana figured in an Army-released list of 11 top militants in Jammu and Kashmir. Police say at least 200 militants are active in Kashmir, 90 of whom are foreigners.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 23:53 IST