Top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Abdul Qayoom Najar killed in Baramulla

India kills Kashmir's ‘longest-surviving militant'

India kills Kashmir's ‘longest-surviving militant'

SSP Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain said Najar was most dreaded militant in Kashmir's militant history and was involved in at least 50 killings of civilians, policemen and other force personnel.

In the summer of 2015, Najar had formed Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) outfit after differences cropped up between Hizbul commanders in PoK and him.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Muneer Khan told The Tribune that Najar was returning to Kashmir to take over the command of Hizbul Mujahideen, whose top commanders in the region were killed in recent months and which is facing an ideological challenge from its former commander Zakir Musa, who now leads Qaida-linked Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Islam.

He briefly fell out with the Hizbul and the Hurriyat leadership in 2015 when he orchestrated multiple attacks on mobile towers and killed some civilians affiliated with the Hurriyat.

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Ceasefire violations are tailored to provide cover for militants infiltrating into Jammu and Kashmir as Qayoom Najar's encounter was also fashioned in a similar way. The killed terrorist was also involved in number of IED blasts carried out by HM in North Kashmir in Sopore, Pattan, Handwara and Baramulla. A resident of Sopore town, he joined militancy barely at an age of 16.

Asked how he survived for this long, the officer said, "Najar would keep on changing his appearance and would use wigs and move around meekly". Neutralising him would have been very hard as he was already heading a huge network in Sopore, Palhallan, Pattan, Handwara areas of Bandipora and Baramulla. In 1992 he was arrested and later released.

The SSP said that Najar was sent by United Jehad Council commander Syed Salahuddin to revive the Hizbul, whose north Kashmir commander Pervaiz Wani and operational chief Yasin Yatoo were killed recently. That way it is a big relief to us and a big relief to all victims of his activities. A year ago in 2016, 372 causalities were reported in Valley while the figure in 2015 was 197.

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