Indian forces kill elusive LeT leader in Kashmir Hunted for years
One killed as protests break out Separatists call for strike today
Srinagar, India - Indian forces killed a top militant commander in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, triggering clashes in which one protester was killed and dozens injured.
Abu Dujana, a senior fighter from the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was killed during a raid near Srinagar, the capital of the northern Indian state.
Indian troops and police special counter-insurgency forces surrounded the village of Harkipora after a tip-off that the militant and an aide were hiding in a house. A fierce gunfight followed, police sources said.
A house which the militants used was set ablaze by soldiers and another was blown up with heavy explosives, witnesses said.
Police said the bodies of the two militants were charred ‘nearly beyond recognition’.
Dujana (26), who was renowned for evading capture, was considered an ‘A++’ target by security forces, who hailed his death a ‘major achievement’.
A police officer said Dujana’s aide was a teenaged local rebel and that his burial in his hometown was attended by thousands.
Thousands of Kashmir residents came out onto the streets and clashed with government forces, throwing stones at them.
Troops retaliated with tear gas, pellet guns and bullets, killing a young man and injuring
at least 70 others, witnesses and a police officer said.
A woman nurse was wounded by a bullet inside a hospital in Pulwama, a town south of Srinagar, when government forces fired at protesters assembled outside, a hospital source said. Hundreds of students and residents clashed with police in Lal Chowk, the main commercial centre of Srinagar, where shopkeepers downed shutters and
panicked parents rushed to collect their children from schools.
Separatists in the Kashmir valley have called for a general strike on Wednesday.
The state government has ordered all schools, colleges and universities to be shut too. Security officials say Dujana, who crossed from Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 2010, was the longest surviving fighter in the Indian-controlled territory. He had a reputation for being ‘a master of disguise’ who escaped at least five previous military cordons.
“He (Dujana) kept weapons and ammunition stashed away in different areas and moved like a civilian disguised as a student and sometimes as a labourer,” a resident of south Kashmir said.
The militant also appeared at the funerals of slain comrades at least twice, but gave police and troops the slip.
"” knew the territory like the back of his hand. He was very, very mobile,” a police officer said.
Abu Dujana kept weapons and ammunition stashed in different areas and moved like a civilian disguised as a student or a labourer
A Kashmiri resident
Villagers gather near a damaged house where two suspected rebels were killed, near Srinagar on Tuesday