Srinagar: Abdul Qayoom Najar, a top commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahedin was killed in a fire fight with the security forces in Uri sector of the Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday.
The police in a statement issued here termed it “a very significant achievement” of it and other security forces including Army. It also said that Najar, 41, was returning to the Valley from PoK to lead the Hizb which suffered huge losses in the hands of security forces in recent weeks.
Najar alias Jan Sahib alias Ishfaq, a resident of Mumkak in the Sopore town of Baramulla district had joined militancy in 1999. “He had ex-filtrated to PoK in 2015 and was returning to take command of the Hizb,” the police said. It added that he was sent to the Valley by PoK-based United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin “to revive the Hizb whose commanders of North Kashmir Pervaiz Wani alias Mubashir and that of South Kashmir Yasin Yatoo were killed recently”.
The police statement added, “His return was also necessitated because of wiping out of the Hizb from North Kashmir”.
The UJC is an amalgam of pro-Pakistan militant outfits and its chief Muhammad Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin is also the chief commander of the Hizb. The US State Department had in June this year declared him a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’. On August 16, the US government designated the Hizb as ‘foreign terrorist organisation’.
The officials said that Najar who figured in the list of ‘most wanted terrorists’ was killed as the Army and other security forces foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla district. “An infiltration bid was foiled in general area of Zorawar (Uri). One terrorist was killed and one weapon was found on him,” the defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia had said earlier. The security forces have killed five militants during a cordon-and-search operation in Uri sector launched on Sunday.
The police added that Najar was involved in dozens of killings of civilians, police and other security forces personnel. He was involved also in a series of attacks at mobile phone towers and kiosks across Kashmir in 2015, leaving several people dead and injured. The Hizb had quickly distanced itself from his actions and Syed Salahuddin had expelled him from the outfit. Najar subsequently formed his own group called Lashkar-e-Islam.
Najar had joined the Hizb at the age of 16. The police said that he had also assassinated top Hizb’s chief commander Abdul Majeed Dar after he started peace talks with the Centre in 2000. “He baptized in militancy after killing of the then Hizb Chief Commander Abdul Majeed Dar who had entered into dialogue process with the Government of India in year 2000,” the police statement said. It added, “The killed terrorist was also involved in number of IED blasts carried out by the Hizb in North Kashmir’s Sopore, Pattan, Handwara and Baramulla.”
It further said, “Najar briefly fell out with the Hizb and the Hurriyat leadership in 2015 when he orchestrated multiple attacks on mobile towers and killing of some civilians affiliated with Hurriyat. He was recalled to base camp in Muzaffarabad, PoK to sort out the differences”....