August 2017 News

Who Was Abu Dujana?

1 August 2017
The Indian Express
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Lashkar-e-Taiba chief commander Abu Dujana was one of the two militants killed in an encounter in Pulwama district on Tuesday morning. The twenty-six-year-old Lashkar commander was one of militant outfit's most famous commanders in south Kashmir, and mostly used to operate in the villages of Pulwama. Killing of Dujana, along with his accomplice Arif Ahmad of Lelhar village, is being viewed as a huge success for the forces. After the killing of Abu Qasim in 2015, Dujana, who was a close associate, was nominated as the top commander of Lashkar. Dujana was also one of the top recruiter for the militants especially in south Kashmir. A resident of Gilgit Baltistan, Dujana had sneaked into the Valley around six years ago. Initially, police officials said that he remained active in north Kashmir before permanently shifting his base to south Kashmir. After his elevation as the chief commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba, he came on the radar of several security agencies. More than a dozen security raids and operations were conducted across south Kashmir to nab Dujana, but he managed to give them the slip everytime. Some officials describe him as 'brainy militant' who was a master in breaking the security cordon. Recently, when the Army released a list of the top militant commanders active in south Kashmir, Dujana's name figured among the top commanders and there was pressure on the security agencies to neutralize him. Dujana was an A+++ category militant and carried a bounty of more than Rs 15 lakh on his head. Though there were reports that Dujana had developed differences with the Lashkar leadership and had joined the Zakir Musa group operating in south Kashmir, the police today, however, described him as the chief commander of Lashkar. Top officials, however, confirm that he was in touch with Musa as he too operates in the same belt where Dujana had his hideouts. Last year, Abu Dujana, wearing a mask, also attended a few protest gatherings after the killing of Hizbul commander, Burhan Wani. He even made a brief speech on August 1 at a 'martyrs' cemetery' in Karimabad, Pulwama. Dujana was considered by security agencies to be the mastermind behind several attacks in south Kashmir, such as the one on a CRPF convoy at Pampore and another at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in the Sempora area last year. Officials said that he was the mastermind behind most of the fidayeen attacks that took place on the national highway in south Kashmir. Though Dujana was being tracked by various agencies, it was the technical inputs combined with human intelligence that helped police to finally trap him. After the killing of Dujana, the focus will be now shift to the new Lashkar commander, Abu Ismail who was named by police in the Amarnath yatra attack and Abu Qasim's brother Abdul Rehman. Rehman had recently infiltrated into the Valley and is operating in north Kashmir's Bandipore area.