LeT's 'most wanted' Abu Dojana attends pro-militant rally in J&K

Families of several slain militants also attended the event which was reportedly attended by close to 50,000 people.

Srinagar: Abu Dojana, the topmost Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander, appeared at a huge rally at Kareemabad in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern district of Pulwama, held on Sunday to pay homage to militants slain in encounters with security forces.

He was accompanied by few other militants, some of them wearing bandanas but they weren’t carrying weapons, said an eyewitness. The rally was addressed to by a host of political activists, religious and social leaders. Abu Dojana also desired to speak on the occasion but was politely refused permission by the organizers, reports from Pulwama said.

One conservative estimate put the number of the participants of the rally around 50,000. The families of several slain militants also attended. Some of the top Hizb-ul-Mujahedin militants including Naseer Ahmed Pandit, Bilal Ahmed Bhat, Afaq Janbaz and Abdur Rashid Bhat were from Kareemabad.

The crowd was responsive and kept hysterically yelling pro-azadi slogans. Many were carrying Pakistan’s national flag and that of LeT besides green Islamic and (Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led) Tehrik-e-Hurriyat flags, a video of the rally shows. The locals served the participants of the rally food and beverages, witnessed said.

Abu Dojana, believed to be a Pakistani national, is a most wanted LeT commander, who escaped through the security forces’ dragnet during three counter-insurgency operations launched in south Kashmir recently. He is wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the August 5, 2015 ambush on a BSF convoy near the garrison town of Udhampur in which two troopers were killed and some other terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

One of his close associates Abu Okasha alias Abu Hanzla, a resident of Bahawalpur area of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was accidently captured by the members of J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) when he was unassumingly walking down a street in Sogam township of frontier Kupwara district in the third week of June this year and was stopped by them for routine checking.

As during his frisking, they found a hand-grenade and ₹ 38,000 in Indian currency in his possession, he was removed to a makeshift interrogation centre where the cops were thrilled to know that he was Abu Okasha.

Kareemabad is about 4 kilometres from Pulwama town and Sunday’s rally had been organised by the area auquaf committee beside the local ‘Mazaar-e-Shohda’ or martyrs’ cemetery. The security forces had sealed Pulwama town but people used diversions to reach Kareemabad. Also, those from neighbouring villages travelled to the venue on foot or in cars, trucks and on motorbikes, reports said. Asked why the authorities didn’t stop the rally, a senior police officer told this newspaper any such attempt could have created a major law and order problem.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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