New Delhi: Kashmir Police on Friday said it had no definitive proof of whether Al-Qaeda’s Kashmir unit chief Zakir Musa was among the suspects trapped by security forces during a search operation in Tral in south Kashmir's Pulwama sector.
IG Kashmir Muneer Khan said forces were deployed to Noorpora village for cordon-and-search operation after they received reports of some militants hiding there. He said as Noorpora is Musa’s native village, rumours that Musa too was trapped spread like wildfire.
He said forces are carrying out searches in the area but there was no firing or contact with militants. “There could be some other suspects but we have no definitive information about Musa. Let us wait for the searches to get over. So far no one has been found.”
Earlier, there were reports that Musa had been trapped by the security forces.
Sources said a joint team of SOG of police, army and paramilitary men have surrounded a bunch of houses in Noorpora village after information pointed out that some militants were believed to be there.
Senior police officials said nothing was confirmed but they believe someone could be there.
Clashes have also erupted in the area of the operation, with youths pelting stones at army men in two places in the Tral area. Sources, however, say the inner cordon has been tightened so the suspects cannot flee.
Musa was named Burhani Wani’s successor to lead Hizbul Mujahideen in the Valley, but soon broke off and formed Taliban-e-Kashmir, as his brand of violence was too extreme even for the Mujahideen. He had recently exited HM following a controversy over his statement that he was not confining his fight for Kashmir cause but for the Caliphate.
The Army has been closing in on the terrorist leader in recent days. Three members belonging to Musa-led al-Qaeda group were killed in an encounter two days ago. The three terrorists were recently seen in photographs of Zakir Musa with his group, which were released recently.