Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana was killed along with an associate in an encounter in the early hours of Tuesday between militants and security forces in south Kashmir’s Hakripora in Pulwama district.
“In the ensuing encounter and exchange of fire, two terrorists were killed. They include Abu Dujana, a top LeT terrorist who had planned and executed major terror actions in south Kashmir,” a spokesperson from the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
“He is believed to have replaced Abu Qasim as LeT head of operations in south Kashmir since 2015 after the latter was killed. A local LeT cadre, suspected to be Arif Nabi Dar, also lost his life.”
In a tweet, the Jammu and Kashmir police said, “LeT chief commander Abu Dujana, a resident of Pakistan, along with his accomplice killed in Hakripora Pulwama. Huge achievement for police and security forces.”
Dujana, who carried an award of ₹15 lakh on his head, and his associate Arif Lilhair were trapped in a house in Pulwama after a joint team of security forces launched a cordon operation at Hakripora. The house, in which the militants were hiding, was blasted during the operation. “The bodies of the militants are being retrieved from the debris,” said Director General of Police (DGP), J&K, S.P. Vaid.
Dujana, in his twenties, took over from Qasim in 2014 as operational commander. He is believed to have been behind many attacks on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, including two on the building of Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) in Pampore.
He had managed to escape on numerous occasions.
Schools, colleges shut; mobile Internet services cut
The authorities on Tuesday snapped Internet mobile services and ordered the closure all educational institutions in Kashmir as violent protests broke out in large parts of the Valley following the killing of Dujana and Lelhar. One civilian was killed as security forces opened fired on protesters.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, issued an order directing all schools and colleges to close for the day.
A large number of students clashed with security forces in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Handwara. Students and locals hurled stones at the security forces, who fired tear-smoke shells to control the situation.
Earlier in the day, Firdous Ahmad, a resident of Kakapora, sustained bullet injuries in the abdomen during clashes near the encounter site at Hakripora. He died of his injuries in a hospital.