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How a studious Zakir Rashid Bhat became the dreaded 'Zakir Musa'

IANS  |  Srinagar 

The journey of Zakir Rashid Bhat, from a well-to-do middle class family of Noorpora village in Jammu and Kashmir's area, to becoming 'Zakir Musa' or the most wanted militant in reads like a Bollywood blockbuster.

Seeing his father Abdul serve the as an engineer, his brother as an and his sister as a officer encouraged Zakir Bhat to study hard to become an himself.

He studied at the high school in Noorpora village up to Class 10. His family took extra care of his performance in studies.

After passing his Class 10 exam, he joined the government-run higher secondary institution in area and completed schooling in 2011.

His father decided to send Zakir Bhat out of the Valley so that he remained away from the daily tensions that distract Kashmiri boys and girls from focussing on their studies.

Frequent curfews, restrictions, crackdowns, closure of educational institutions, non-availability of round-the-clock libraries and were probably the key reasons for Zakir joining an engineering college in Chandigarh.

In Chandigarh, however, he kept hearing about youths joining militancy, especially in his area that had become a breeding ground for home-grown militancy in south

In 2013, Zakir's best friend Idrees persuaded him to join the militant ranks.

Zakir abandoned studies at Chandigarh without telling his family that he was going to take a one-way road to become a 'shaheed'.

He found contacts to meet who was becoming the poster boy of militancy in Kashmir.

was killed on July 8, 2016 in district, triggering widespread violence.

Zakir now became the new hero for militants and their overground supporters.

But he was disgruntled with the Hizbul Mujahideen and parted ways.

A statement released on July 27, 2017 by the Global Islamic Media Front, an Al Qaeda-affiliated information network, said that Al Qaeda had created a cell in called 'Ansar Ghazwatul Hind' headed by

After this announcement, Zakir became the most wanted militant in Kashmir.

His threats to behead Kashmiri separatist leaders for calling Kashmir a political issue rather than a religious struggle to establish an Islamic Caliphate were widely reported by the media in the country and outside.

There appeared to be no takers for rumours that he was an "Indian agent" and was seeking to discredit the "freedom struggle".

Authorities did not confirm the killing of Zakir on Thursday although they began preparations to ensure that there was no major law and order issue after the death was announced.

Zakir's brother was the first to confirm that he was dead. Highly placed sources further confirmed this to IANS on Thursday.

Zakir's family had gone to station in district to receive his body at night even when the authorities maintained that no body had been recovered.

The official refrain continued till early on Friday when authorities chose to announce the news about Zakir's killing.

Some reports said he had come home to visit his family when the security forces came to know about it and surrounded his house in Noorpora village in Tral area. It led to his death.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 15:12 IST
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