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Despite curbs, thousands reach Noorpora Tral to attend Musa’s last rites

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Srinagar: Tens and thousands of people on Friday converged from various parts of south Kashmir at Noorpora village of Tral to participate in the funeral prayers of slain militant commander Zakir Musa, Kashmir’s most wanted militant commander, who headed the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind.
Reports said that thousands of people from various parts of Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian districts reached Noorpora despite curbs and rains to participate in the last rites of Musa who was killed by the government forces in a gunfight on Friday morning.
Musa had escaped from the house where he was initially trapped but was killed this morning in an orchard after a fresh gunfight in Dadsara village of Tral area.
Army along with paramilitary forces and police had started a cordon and search operation last evening following information about the presence of militants there.
An official said Musa was asked to surrender but “instead he hurled grenades and started firing, which was retaliated, triggering off an encounter.”
He said more government forces were rushed to the area to prevent him from escaping under the cover of darkness. The house in which Musa was reportedly trapped was razed to rubble but he had managed to escape even as an AK-rifle and a rocket was recovered. He was trapped in a nearly orchard and was killed after a brief gunfight on Friday morning, the official added.
The authorities have already announced restrictions in some areas of Pulwama, Awantipora, Srinagar, Anantnag and Budgam as a precautionary measure.
Internet was also shutdown across the Valley as a precautionary measure, the officials said. Schools and colleges have also been closed across the Valley to prevent student protests.
Zakir Musa, a close associate of Burhan Wani who was killed in 2016, was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen who succeeded Burhan and later parted ways. He later emerged as head of Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind.
Zakir Rashid Bhat, his real name, was an engineering student in Chandigarh who abandoned education and joined militancy in 2013.
He was born in Noorpora village of Tral area. His father, Abdul Rashid Bhat, is a senior engineer working for the government. After Burhan Wani’s death, Zakir Musa had become a household name in the Valley.


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