Srinagar, May 24: Zakir Rashed Bhat who become popular after assuming the charge of Hizbul Mujhadeen after the death of his associate Burhan Wani as Zakir Musa was active on ground from past six years.
Zakir came from a well-to-do family. His father Abdul Rashid Bhat is a retired assistant executive engineer. His elder brother Shakir Rashid Bhat is an orthopedic surgeon and his sister Shaheena Rashid Bhat is a banker. After coming into contact with Burhan Wani, he emerged as key player and both Wani and Musa worked shoulder to shoulder to make Hizb a vibrant outfit. Musa played a key role in recruiting new youth and in a short span of time, Hizb not only emerged as a prominent outfit but it also managed to bring a large number of youth mostly educated ones to its fold.
Hizbul Mujhadeen preferred him over Sabzar and made him Commander of the outfit for Kashmir after the killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016 but within a short span of time, he developed some ideological difference with the top leaders of the outfit sitting across and in 2017 declared fighting for caliphate and not for joining Pakistan or creating an independent state. He also threatened Hurriyat leadership of dire consequences who he thought were a hurdle in the establishment of caliphate. In a video message that went viral, he said Hurriyat leaders should be hanged in broad day light. He even criticized Pakistan and said that establishment of caliphate should be the primary focus. When Hizb didn’t endorse his ideology, he formed his own outfit Ansar Ghazwat Ul Hind.
His popularity can be gauged by this fact that protesters at any event be it a government sponsored one or a private, be it a road accident involving armed forces or any political rally raised slogans involving Zakir Musa. ‘Musa Musa-Zakir Musa’ became a famed slogan for the people to express resentment against anything.
Zakir Musa came into lime light when his photograph clicked at Brazulla Srinagar along with his militant friend Latif Tiger went viral on social media. Security agencies were alerted after he showed his presence in the heart of the city.
Zakir left his engineering midway when he left Ram Dev Jindal College at Chandigarh in 2012 and joined militancy.
Right from 2014, police at least registered 10 militancy related cases against him. Two cases were registered in 2014, one in 2015, four in 2016, two in 2017 and one in 2018. Police held him responsible for anti-national activities, the grenade attack on CISF post at Noorpora Tral, abduction and killing of a civilian Firdous Ahmad Hurrah of Drusoo Pulwama, inciting youth for militant activities, killing of a civilian lady Hameed Bano of Noorpora, snatching of weapons from government forces, setting Government Higher Secondary School Dadsara on fire, bank robbery at Jammu Kashmir Bank branch at Noorpora, raising of funds for militant activities. Besides, several other militant cases were registered against him pertaining to militant attacks.
Besides these cases lodged by local police, Zakir Musa was declared as pro-claimed offender by NIA special court Mohali Punjab on 2nd May, 2019. The said case pertains to his alleged involvement in a blast at Jalandhar Punjab.
Tens of thousands of people visited the encounter site at Dadasar and his residence Noorpora Tral to pay tributes to him.