Quyoom was 43 years old and one of the longest surviving militant in Kashmir
Gloom Descended over the skies of Sopore as it got the news of killing of the longest surviving militant and the supremo of Lashkar e Islam, Abdul Quyoom Najar and within moments the area reverberated with pro Freedom, Pro Militancy and Pro Zakir Musa slogans. Thousands of Youth marched on the streets carrying the body of the slain militant, who was killed in a Gunfight with Government forces in Uri Sector of Baramulla District on Tuesday.
Quyoom who was one of the longest surviving militant joined militancy in 1991 at the age of 16 after which he was arrested in 1992. Quyoom after getting released joined the militant ranks in 1995, however, he came into limelight in 2015 when a feud reportedly erupted over the Hit list which Quyoom had prepared. However the same got rejected likely because it involved two men from Geelani’s Hurriyat. The feud just escalated when Quyoom started targeting the communication system in Kashmir. He did not use a phone and wanted militants to stop using mobile phones as he believed it made the job easier for Government Forces to trace militants down. The Police in 2015 in a talk about Quyoom with a newspaper had said, Quyoom was a cordon breaker and he escaped cordons of Government forces several times. The Police in that conversation with a newspaper also alleged that Quyoom was a master of Disguises; he would wear a turban at times, wear wigs and then disappear. The Government agencies had no photograph of Quyoom.
Quyoom in 2015 formed Lashkar e Islam after his disassociation from Hizb along with Muzaffar Ahmad Naikoo known popularly as Muz Moulvi and soon after the attacks on network communication, Quyoom held the responsibility. As Reported by a Tribune Story in 2015, the two Hurriyat Activists were a part of hit list Quyoom had sent across. Quyoom had pertinently accused these two men of being police informers. After which Quyoom allegedly shot those men down after which his organization was labeled by Geelani as a handiwork of Indian Agencies on June 02 2015. Militant leaders in Pakistan also echoed Geelani’s voice. However on June 06 that year, Quyoom reacted sharply asking Geelani’s group to check the role of their Cadres in the killing of four militants, including Javaid Salafi of Islamabad (Anantnag) district, Mufti Hilal of Palhalan village and Adil Mir of Tral.
Quyoom took the charge of Hizb in north Kashmir in 2000. However, he liked to keep a low profile as he never liked glory. He would recruit people into Hizb and strengthen the group. When militancy was shrinked in Northern Kashmir, Lashkar e Taiba sent Abdullah Uni, head of the Lashkar-e-Toiba to Sopore where he worked closely with the Quyoom. He rose to prominence after Abdullah Uni was killed in 2011. Quyoom was once caught in a raid, but fled after 12 hours of search Operation pertinently because the Forces had no clue as to what Quyoom looks like. But the Police was just told that Quyoom looks like his brother and then a sketch was created and then distributed.
“He was a carpenter by profession; He used his mastery as a carpenter to build excellent hideouts for militants. Before he joined militancy, he destroyed all his photos which helped him to survive this long, his brain worked and he made the best use of it. He would never use or even allow his cadre to use a cell phone. He had seen two generations of militancy and knew how it works more than anyone else, he kept on changing faces and places.” a neighbour of Quyoom says.
There have been reports in the media that Quyoom was agitated with the involvement of Hurriyat in militant outfits like Majeed Dar who also wanted Guerilla activities to be parted away from Hurriyat. Majeed was shot dead by Unidentified Gunmen in March 2003. Abdul Majid Dar had shot into prominence when he allegedly announced a unilateral cease-fire by a militant group in July 2000.
Quyoom after getting into limelight in 2015 disappeared and stories of Quyoom started doing rounds from Northern Kashmir to down South. Some said Quyoom was based at a Police camp, while others said he had been called back to Pakistan and was living with Salahuddin. Many claimed that Quyoom had been sheltered by Pakistan and gifted a shop in Pakistan, however there is no clarification as to whether Quyoom was in Pakistan or not. Some even allege that Quyoom was hiding in the Jungles of Uri after he had developed a strong network in Southern Kashmir.
“Quyoom was one of the smartest militants I have known in my eighteen years of service. He would not even trust his wife, his brother, not even his deputy or seniors," Imtiyaz Hussain, senior superintendent of police Baramulla said.
Quyoom was involved in the killing civilians, policemen and other Government forces. His Killing is a big achievement for all of us. He was already heading a huge network in Sopore, Palhallan and in areas of Bandipora and Baramulla. It is a big relief for us, the Police officer said.