SRINAGAR, Aug 05 : Slain militant commander Abu Dujana was the “first martyr” in the war for an Islamic Kashmir and helped set up an al-Qaeda cell in India, the global terror outfit’s valley chief Zakir Musa has allegedly claimed.
Musa, a hardline militant, said in a purported statement on Friday that Dujana and Arif Lelhari, both of whom were killed by security forces on August 1, had left the Lashkar-e-Taiba to join the al-Qaeda, once led by Pakistan-based terrorist leader Osama bin-Laden.
However, the authenticity of the video message could not be verified but officials said the voice matched earlier audio clips released by Musa, who left the Hizbul Mujahideen this year.
The al-Qaeda’s claims of making inroads in Kashmir could potentially open a new front in the valley, which is witnessing a spurt in militant activities and civilian protests since the killing of Hizbul commader Burhan Wani last year.
Two voices in the clip claim their allegiance to al-Qaeda and ask people not to unfurl Pakistani flags during their funeral.
“Only use the flag of tawheed (a flag with islamic inscriptions about Allah being the only God),” the voices can be heard saying. u4u voice doesn’t claim authenticity of the audio.
Dujana’s killing has been termed a “huge achievement” by state police battling hardened militants including Musa.
After the killing of Dujana and Hizbul chief Sabzar Bhat, Musa is among a few of the longest surviving militants in the valley.
Musa is also the first militant commander who claims “the separatist movement in Kashmir is for establishment of an Islamic state and not a political struggle”.
A BTech student, Musa joined Hizbul Mujahideen after leaving his studies midway and was a close associate of Wani.
Musa fell out with Hizbul Mujahideen on May 14, after threatening to publicly behead Hurriyat leaders, who insist that the movement is Kashmir is “political”.
“…Our intention should be that, we have to achieve ‘azadi’ to establish Islamic rule and not for secular state. If we are fighting for secular state then my blood won’t be spilled for that purpose,” he said in an earlier statement.