SRINAGAR (PTI), May 23:
Zakir Musa, the so-called chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, was believed to have been killed in an encounter with security forces today in a village in Tral of South Kashmir, officials said.
They said two terrorists were killed in the encounter but there was no confirmation about their identities as the bodies were yet to be retrieved. However, Musa’s family confirmed that he was present at the site.
There has been no firing for quite sometime at the encounter site, but security forces are taking precaution before approaching the debris, they said.
Spontaneous protests broke out in Shopian, Pulwama, Awantipora and downtown Srinagar, with people raising slogans in favour of Musa.
Senior police officials said security forces had launched a cordon and search operation at Dadsara village and when the terrorists tried to escape a gunfight broke out.
They said efforts were made to make them surrender but the request fell on deaf ears and the holed up terrorists started lobbing grenades using a launcher.
The officials said more security forces were rushed to the area to prevent the terrorists from escaping under the cover of darkness.
In the meantime, Jammu and Kashmir Police announced restrictions in some areas of Pulwama, Awantipora, Srinagar, Anantnag and Budgam as a precautionary measure, they said.
The officials said the decision was made keeping in view the Friday prayer gatherings.
Internet was also shutdown as a precautionary measure, they said.
Zakir Rashid Bhat, 24, also known as Zakir Musa quit Civil Engineering course he was doing in Chandigarh in 2013 to become a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. After differences with Hizbul Mujahideen, he formed his own group and was named as Chief of Ansarul Gazwatul Hind, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda.
And dead body of a militant’s brother has been found in his native village this morning. Body of Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh, son of Gulam Ahmad Sheikh who was brother of active Hizb militant Irfan Ahmed Sheikh was found this morning at his native village.
Few gunshots were heard in the area last night at around 10: 30 PM and since then Irfan was missing and today his dead body was found.
The family blamed security forces for his killing. However, Police have registered a case and are investigating the matter.
Two civilians were injured in Awantipora as militants hurled a grenade at Police Station this afternoon.
Militants this afternoon lobbed a grenade towards police station Awantipora. However, it exploded outside and injured two civilians and window panes of few cars were also damaged.
Militants also hurled a grenade at the CRPF bunker at Tagore hall at Wazirbagh this afternoon. No injuries were reported in the incident.