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As Kashmir Plunges Into Political Uncertainty, Here's a List of Most Wanted Militants

A number of militants were killed in Kashmir last year, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders Bashir Ahmad Wani, Abu Dujana, Abu Ismail and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat and Jaish-e-Muhammad commander Khalid

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:June 19, 2018, 2:53 PM IST
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As Kashmir Plunges Into Political Uncertainty, Here's a List of Most Wanted Militants
Representative image (Reuters)

New Delhi: The BJP-led central government has now asked the armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir to resume its operations against terrorists in the Valley. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that while the forces had exercised exemplary restraint during the month-long Ramzan ceasefire, terrorists continued to attack civilians.

A day after Singh announced the end of the ceasefire, two terrorists were killed in Bandipora early on Monday. A number of militants have been killed in Kashmir last year, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders Bashir Ahmad Wani, Abu Dujana, Abu Ismail and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat and Jaish-e-Muhammad commander Khalid.

Here's a list of the most wanted men in Kashmir as of now.

Zakir Musa, Al-Qaida

The Al-Qaida man is on the top of the forces’ list. After his split from Hizbul, Musa launched the Kashmir chapter — Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind — of Al-Qaida. In a very short span, Musa has become popular among Valley’s youth and cadre of other terror groups. Many militants, including the once chief of Lashkar’s operations in Kashmir, Abu Dujana, joined him at various stages, and possibly lent him help in the form of weapons and ground network.

Forces want to eliminate him because he has been spreading propaganda for an Islamic caliphate in Kashmir and beyond, an ideology that is rapidly gaining ground among Valley’s youth.

Riyaz Naikoo, Hizbul Mujahideen

The chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, Naikoo, and an ‘A++’ category militant, Naikoo at 29, is one of the most experienced Hizbul commanders and at present its head of operations in Kashmir. He took over from Yaseen Ittoo after his death in an encounter. Naikoo, who is from Durbug, Awantipora, is considered tech savvy. In a recent militant funeral, he appeared in public to counter Zakir Musa’s anti-Pakistan propaganda.

He has been booked by police in several murder cases, including that of policemen. To bolster his moderate image he had earlier released an 11-minute video asking Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley. Naikoo overlooks at the massive Over Ground Worker (OGW) support for Hizb, the oldest terror group in the Valley.

Zeenat-ul-Islam, Lashkar-e-Taiba

Zeenat took over the Lashkar leadership after Abu Ismail was gunned down late last year. The 28-year-old is a resident of Sugan Zanipura, Shopian, and was recruited in 2015. He is considered one of the main accused in the Shopian attack in February that left three soldiers dead. Known as an IED expert, he is a former member of Al-Badar terror outfit.

He was once arrested in 2008 where he is said to have confessed to being an over ground worker (OGW). He was eventually released four years later and is said to have gotten married too before joining the Lashkar module.

Naveed Jatt, Lashkar-e-Taiba

A Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, Jatt, also known as Abu Hanzulla, pulled off a daring escape earlier this year from a government run hospital in Srinagar earlier this year. Two policemen were killed after a group of militants attacked the hospital where Jatt and five other prisoners were brought for a checkup.

Jatt’s name is now doing the rounds as one of the accused in the murder of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari. He is said to be a native of Multan in Pakistan and was arrested in 2014. Jatt is also accused of being involved in a number of attacks during the 2014 general elections which led to the death of a teacher.

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