12-hour gunfight ends with killing of Zakir Musa

ESS AHMAD. Dated: 5/25/2019 2:21:08 PM

Despite curbs, heavy rains and internet blockade thousands turn up for funeral

ANANTNAG, May 24: Authorities on Friday imposed harsh restrictions in almost all the major townships of the valley to control the situation after the killing of top militant commander Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Zakir Musa in an overnight gunfight in Tral area of southern Pulwama district on Thursday.
Amid rains, internet blockade and restrictions imposed by the authorities thousands of people reached native village of the killed commander to participate in his last rites.
The gunfight raged in Dadsara village of Tral Thursday evening and ended at around 6.00 AM Friday after twelve hours. Body of Musa, the chief of Ansar-ul-Gazwatul-Hind (AGH) was recovered from the rubble of the house destroyed during the gunfight and was handed over to his family for last rites.
Authorities fearing law and order problem overnight had imposed restrictions in major and small townships of southern region and capital city Srinagar. Police and Para-military men were deployed in huge strength in Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Bijbehara, Awantipora and even volatile areas of Srinagar.
Forces had sealed all the main roads, entry and exit points in these townships with barbed wire to prevent the people from moving towards Tral. Though there were no restrictions in Tral town but the roads leading to the area had been sealed by police to prevent outsiders from making it to the native village of the slain.
However, despite heavy rains, curbs and internet blockade, people from different areas reached Noorpora, the native village of Musa to offer his funeral prayers. People mostly youth, chose interior roads, fields and orchards to reach the funeral venue of the militant commander. Even the people from Srinagar and other districts had managed to reach Tral.
The body of the slain was carried from his home to graveyard in the form of a huge procession amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Witnesses said that twelve back to back funerals were offered for the slain commander as more and more people poured in after the rains stopped. Musa was later lowered in the grave amid tears and sobs.
Coming from a well off family, Zakir who was pursuing engineering from outside college had joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit in October 2014. He became a part of popular Burhan group and became his close associate.
However in 2017, a year after Burhan was killed in Kokernag area of Anantnag district, Zakir shot to fame after he parted ways from Hizb and soon announced forming his own group AGH. Zakir in one of the audio messages even threatened to hang Hurriyat leaders believing in secularism.
Zakir figured in the list of most wanted militant commanders circulated by army many a time.
Zakir’s father is an engineer, brother a medicos and sister a bank manager.



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