Bandipora: Police on Thursday claimed to have killed Abu Musaib, district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba, in a gunfight in north Kashmir’s Hajin area of Bandipora district. A member of the police special operations group (SOG) was injured during the gunfight and a second trapped militant managed to escape, police said.
Police said that acting on specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in a house, a team of army and police SOG laid a cordon around Par Mohalla and Khos Mohalla in Hajin during the wee hours of Thursday morning. “Two militants, who included Lashkar commander Abu Musa, tried to break the cordon at around 7am after jumping out of the house in Parr Mohalla they were hiding in. Abu Musa was killed on the spot while his associate managed to escape,” police said, adding, “In the encounter, SOG personnel Vikas Sharma also received bulled injuries.”
10 Jan 2017: Militant identified as Mavaiya of LeT killed in Hajin. He along with three associates had escaped security cordon in Hajin thrice last year in November and December.
29 Dec 2016: A brief gunfight between militants and government forces in Hajin’s Shahgund resulted in injuries to two army men. Officials said that militants were successful in fleeing from the area.
22 Dec 2016: Government forces had to lift siege around a residential house in Parray Mohalla in Hajin after massive protests erupted near the site. It was believed that two militants were trapped in the house. After militants fired to break the cordon, locals came out and threw stones and fire pots at government troops.
24 Nov 2016: Two Lashkar-i-Toiba militants, Khalid and Abu Raka, and an army soldier, Naik Chandra Singh, killed in Naidkhai area of Hajin in a brief encounter. Locals clashes with the government forces for hours, demanding the bodies of the slain militants
21 Nov 2016: Two unidentified foreign militants killed in a gunfight in Bonikhan area of Hajin. The area witnessed massive protests against the killings.
05 Feb 2016: Three foreign militants killed in a gunfight in Hajin. Government troops did not hand over the bodies to the locals and instead buried them in the garrison village at Boniyar in Uri Baramulla. The decision was taken in view of the massive gathering at the funeral of Lashkar-I Toiba commander Abu-Qasim a few months ago in Bugam village of south Kashmir.
As soon as news of the cordon reached villagers, witnesses said that “people came marching in hundreds towards the encounter site at around 6am, raising slogans. They clashed with the government forces, pelting them with stones, while the forces fired several rounds in the air and also resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the protesting mob.”
Soon after Zuhr prayers, thousands of people assembled near the Masjid-e-Wahab in Khos Mohalla to offer funeral prayers in absentia for Abu Musaib. Announcements were made on loudspeakers for people to join the funeral prayers.
Soon after the completion of funeral prayers, people took out a protest rally raising slogans such as, ‘We want Freedom’, ‘Mujahido Kadam Badhao Hum Tumhare Sath Hain’.
A complete shutdown was observed in Hajin and adjoining areas to mourn the killing of the militant.
Earlier, two persons received pellet injuries after forces fired pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters who were trying to help the militants escape.