Soliha Mohammed Akhoon, 25 a resident of Arampora area in South Kashmir’s Tral Hamlet and the closest aide of Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind, Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa was killed in an encounter with Government Forces on Saturday morning.
An Official said that based on credible inputs of presence of AGH Militants in the Arampora, the forces including 42RR of Indian Army, Jammu Kashmir Police and 180 Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force launched a Cordon and Search Operation on the area, As the forces were conducting searches, militants opened fire on them, he said, adding the forces retaliated leading to a gunfight in which six militants were killed.
Saliha, the deputy of Zakir Musa had joined Militant outfit, Hizb ul Mujahideen in the summer of 2015 after he gave up his studies. “He was pursuing computer engineering before he joined Hizb ul Mujahideen in 2015,” one of his neighbour told The Kashmiriyat.
He said that Saliha was a generous person and offered prayers five times a day, “he was not from any extremist ideology as claimed by many,” he told The Kashmiriyat.
Saliha’s brother, Junaid Akhoon was arrested last year in October after and kept in detention for many days for the activities of his brother.
As per neighbours of Saliha, he was an active protester in the uprising of 2010 against the killing spree that began in June that year, “however when the uprising failed, he lost faith in the political struggle and the political leaders,” a neighbour of Saliha said.
“His discussions would always revolve around the 2010 agitation and the failure of political leadership to resolve the issue,” he said adding that Saliha wanted to pursue his career and wanted the bloodshed in Kashmir to stop for once and all.
in 2015, he had become almost mute, we did not know, where he was and suddenly everyone started speaking of his absence. “Months later, we came to know that he had joined Hizb ul Mujahideen.”
In Hizb ul Mujahideen, he was the closest to Zakir Musa and when Musa rebelled with the outfit in 2017 and threatened of beheading the Hurriyat leadership, sources say that Saliha alias Rehan Khan was the first one to support him.
Saliha later joined Zakir Musa’s Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind and was promoted as the deputy of Zakir. “He was the in charge of recruitment and meeting new recruits and sources,” an official told The Kashmiriyat.
Zakir himself does not meet anyone, but he only met his deputy, so his killing is being seen as a success to the Government Forces and a major blow to Zakir Musa, one of the most wanted Militant in the Kashmir valley who appeared in the initial list of 12 most wanted Militants.
As per Police, Rehan was involved in a series of attacks against the Government Forces and today his killing is being seen as a major blow to Militant outfit Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind.
Credible sources informed The Kashmiriyat that “Zakir Musa now has five to six people around him and may have many sympathizers in other militant organizations.”
Saliha is survived two siblings, a brother, a sister and his parents.