It now seems like various terror outfits spread across the Kashmir valley are fighting with each other for more relevance and cadres. A few months ago, Hizbul Mujahideen commanders sought a meeting with leaders of Zakir Musa led Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH). However the four AGuH terrorists who turned up for the meeting quickly realised that they had been tricked. Hizbul commanders snatched away all the arms and ammunition in disposal of the AGuH operatives.
Ever since falling into Hizbul’s trap, AGuH is having it difficult to stay relevant, though Musa continues to maintain certain degree of influence over the youth of the valley, owing to his popularity on social media platforms.
The strength of Musa’s outfit was estimated at no more than 10-15 armed cadres until Saturday, who as per sources in the central security establishment held some 8-10 weapons between them. After the killing of six AGuH cadres, including Musa’s deputy Soliha alias Rehaan, in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama on Saturday, the outfit, a senior official claimed, stood decimated but for Musa and “a couple of others”. Weapons were recovered from the slain terrorists, further limiting AGuH’s firepower.
Reports suggest, outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-E-Taiba have been opposing Musa’s growing influence in the valley, from sometime. “While there is potential for Musa’s outfit to grow in popularity and attract a large number of Kashmiri youth, lack of funding and source of weapons has prevented it from growing into a major threat,” said an officer of the central security establishment.
“Musa possibly realises that with little financial backing and weapons, his men cannot make much of an impact on the terror/militancy scene in J&K. He is believed to be lying low, is possibly not using a phone to communicate for fear of being tracked and may have also disguised his appearance to escape detection by human intelligence assets of Jammu & Kashmir police,” said an officer.
Most of the weapons in Musa’s disposal were looted by security forces. Left with a derth of weapons and funds, Musa’s is quickly becoming an irrelevant figure in Kashmir. Couple of weeks ago, there were reports of him living in Punjab in in the disguise of a Sikh man, had surfaced.