A month-and-a-half after militants attacked telecom towers in Sopore and killed six civilians, militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has blamed one of its senior commanders for the attacks. In a major decision, Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin has expelled the commander from the outfit.
“Abdul Qayoom Najar is no more a part of the Hizbul and he should not be linked with the organisation,” said Hizbul’s Pakistan-based spokesman Saleem Hashmi, quoting Syed Salahuddin. Hashmi said this in a statement to a local news agency, Current News Service (CNS). “During his address to the Hizbul Command Council, Syed Salahuddin said that the basic membership of Najar has been suspended as he played a key role in murdering some innocent persons, indulged in character assassination of Hurriyat leaders and attacked the telecommunication set-up in Valley”.
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The Hizbul chief’s statement has validated the police claim that Najar and his associate Imtiyaz Ahmad Kundoo were behind the killings and attacks in Sopore town and its adjacent villages. Hizbul says the decision to expel Najar was taken after the report was submitted by an inquiry commission.
“The report submitted by the inquiry commission has proved that Qayoom Najar, in utter disregard to the Hizbul leadership, violated the constitution of the outfit and carried out condemnable acts which our constitution does not allow or permit,” Hashmi quoted Salahuddin as saying. “Such anti-people activities always prove counter-productive for the freedom movement and advertently or inadvertently such acts help the anti-movement elements”.
Najar, one of the longest surviving militants, has been active since 1995. He first joined the militant ranks as a 16-year-old boy in 1990 but was arrested. After his release, Najar, who in security circles is known by his alias Kabutar (pigeon), worked at a shop in Sopore. He again joined militants in 1995. A top commander of Hizbul, Najar was the de facto operations commander of the militant outfit. Hizbul has also hinted that Lashkar-e-Islam, which claimed the responsibility for attacks on mobile towers and killings in Sopore, was the brainchild of Najar.