Top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Abdul Qayoom Najar killed in Baramulla

In a separate incident, top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Abdul Qayoom Najar was killed in a gunbattle with the Army near the LoC in Uri sector while he attempted to sneak into Kashmir to take charge of the terror organization, a senior police officer said.

According to a senior police official, it was a big success for the security forces for the security forces as Najar was wanted for his alleged involvement in more than 50 killings, including that of policemen in Hygam area of Sopore in the state.

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"Najar was killed as security forces foiled an infiltration bid near Zorawar post in Lachipora area along the LoC this morning".

In the summer of 2015, Najar had formed Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) outfit after differences cropped up between Hizbul commanders in PoK and him. "Considering that both of his top commanders in north Kashmir and south Kashmir were dead, Najar was sent to take command of Hizbul which has been nearly wiped off from north Kashmir with his (Najar's) killing", SSP Hussain said.

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"His return was also necessitated because of wiping out of Hizb from north Kashmir", the police spokesman said.

He said Najar briefly fell out with HM/Hurriyat leadership in 2015 when he orchestrated multiple attacks on mobile towers in Sopore. The flashpoint came in May 2015, sources said, when Najar and his associate Imtiyaz Kundoo threatened mobile operators in Sopore town and started killing people, including local Hurriyat leader Sheikh Altaf ur Rehman.

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Najar had unleashed several attacks on civilians, police and the security forces. Sources said that all army camps around the area have been put on high alert. Officers said he used to keep changing his appearance, used wigs and moved around discreetly. He had joined militancy at an early age of 16. So, had this gentleman made entry into north Kashmir, it would have been a problem for us. He was arrested in 1992 and became an active militant again on his release in 1995. Baramulla SSP Imtiaz Hussain termed it a significant achievement for the forces as the 44-year-old had been an active militant for 18 years.