Srinagar: Four days after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir’s Tral, the Army released a list of 12 top militants who are top priority.
The list released on Tuesday entailed names of their outfits and ranks. The army intends to ‘go after’ these militants.
The Kashmir Valley, facing fresh unrest since early Tuesday morning, is the hotbed of home-grown and foreign militants belonging to groups such as Hizbul, Lashkar-e-Taiba or other militant groups active in the state.
Increased infiltration bids and ceasefire violations across the LoC have provoked security forces to launch search operations across the Valley.
The detailed list has names and photographs of the militants. It also includes strikes led by them along with locations they are active in, according to media reports.
The listed militants are said to be locals recruited recently and predominantly operating in South Kashmir.
The list categorises militants in 2 categories - A and A++.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the list includes the following names with their respective ranks:
• Junaid AH Matoo, alias Kandroo (LET District Commander): Matoo from Khudwani Kulgam, recruited on June 3, 2015 has been listed under category A.
• Bashir AH Wani, alias Lashkar (LET District Commander, Anantnag): Wani hailing from Sopshali Kokernag, was recruited on October 2, in 2015. He has been listed under category A++.
• Zeenat-UL-Islam, alias Alkama (LET): Alkama, recruited on November 17, 2015, is a resident of Sugan Zanipura, in Shopian.
• Wasim AH, alias Osama (LET Commander, Shopian): Osama from Shopian’s Hef Shirmal, was recruited on March 28, 2014. This Burhan Wani militant has been named under category A++.
• Abu Dujana, alias Hafiz (LET Divisional Commander, South Kashmir): Hafiz is based out of Pakistan and has been active since December 14. He is listed under the A++ category.
• Abu Hamas (JEM Divisional Commander): The JEM Commander is a resident of Pakistan and has been active since 2016. Hamas is listed under the A++ category.
• Saddam Paddar alias Zaid (HM, District Commander, Shopian): Zaid is a resident of Shopian’s Hef Shrimal. He was recruited on September 25, 2015. The Burhan Wani Group militant is named in category A++.
• Showkat AH Tak, alias Huzaifa (LET District Commander, Pulwama): Recruited on October 17, 2011, Huzaifa hails from Panzgam in Awantipore. He too has been listed under category A++.
• Reyaz AH Naikoo alias Zubair (District Commander, HM, Pulwama): A resident of Tokun, Awantipore, Zubair was recruited in December 2012. The militant is under the category A++.
• Mohd Yasin Ittoo alias Mansoon (District Commander, HM Badgam): Ittoo is a resident of Chadoora, Badgam. He was recruited on December 6, 2015. The militant is listed under category A.
• Zakir Rashid Bhatt, alias Musa (HM Divisional Commander, South Kashmir)
Musa lives in Noorpura, Awantipore and was recruited in July 2013. Musa is named under category A++.
• Altaf AH Dar alias Kachroo (HM, District Commander, Kulgam): Kachroo belongs to Hawara, Kulgam, and was recruited in 2006. He is in category A++.
Notably, Pakistani national Abu Dujana, Lashkar’s Kashmir ‘commander’, along with Reyaz Naikoo and Yasin Itoo, who are in the queue to take over Sabzar’s position in Hizbul after his death, are there on the list as well.
According to a PTI report, an army official said, “Gen Rawat and some senior army officers arrived at Badamibagh Cantonment area this morning for a routine day-long visit.”
“The Chief of army staff is being briefed by Corps Commander and other top officers about the situation in the Valley, especially after the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat. He will also be briefed about the situation along the Line of Control in the wake of reports of activity at infiltration launch pads on the other side of LoC,” the official further added.
Sabzar Bhat is said to have succeeded Burhan Wani, killed in a gun fight in July 2016, resulting in widespread protests in the Kashmir Valley that left a minimum of 100 civilians dead.
Before the release of the list, the army said its aim was to ‘go after top commanders’.
200 militants are believed to be active in Kashmir, according to the police. While 110 among the 200 are local militants, the rest belong to South Kashmir....