The streets of Shopian are splashed with posters bearing Hizbul Mujahideen stamp blaming al-Qaida-appointed head of Kashmir jihad, Zakir Musa, for “helping Indian forces kill Kashmiris” and asking people to “chase him to death”, while also describing him as an “Indian agent”.
Zakir Rashid Bhat, alias Zakir Musa, 23, had left Hizbul Mujahideen as its head in May this year after the outfit criticised him for threatening Hurriyat separatists with “public hanging” for calling Kashmir a “political problem”. Al- Qaida’s propaganda channel had, in July this year, announced that Musa will head Kashmir-based operations of the terror outfit.
Qaida’s online propaganda channel, the Global Islamic Media Front, had said, “After the heroic martyrdom of mujahid Burhan Wani, the jihad in Kashmir has entered a stage of awakening, as the Muslim Nation of Kashmir is committed to carry the flag of jihad… for this goal, a new movement of jihad has been founded by the companions of martyr Burhan Wani under the leadership of mujahid Zakir Musa.”
Musa had called for hanging the separatists from lampposts in downtown Srinagar and questioned their narrative saying they had betrayed the cause of Islam and that he, Musa alone, stood for jihad to establish the Caliphate rule. Among the terrorists Musa had weaned away from Hizb was Pakistani Abu Dujana, who was killed in an encounter last month.