Recently, a senior Hizbul Mujahideen leader was killed in a standoff and this killing of Qayoom Najar in Jammu & Kashmir last week happened after a specific tip-off that was given from PoK-based terrorists of the same outfit. Before the cops and forces interrupted and caught Najar and killed him in a shooting, the information about his plans to return to Kashmir from Pakistan occupied Kashmir were released to the forces. In fact, the information included the exact route Najar would take via the mountainous terrain and it was leaked few days before the interruption by the police.
The tip-off was sent through social media and the senders didn’t reveal which date Najar would travel but the police were specifically told the route he would be taking. The police were told that he return to the Pakistan occupied part of Kashmir valley through the north Kashmir side.
The Police of J&K passed on information to the Army which organized a round-the-clock watch on the informed route. Najar was consequently killed while he was found trying to break into Kashmir by cross the LoC in Uri sector.
Intelligence agencies made claims that Pakistan had been considering Najar’s loyalty as doubtful ever since he had a falling out with his PoK-based Hizbul Mujahideen handlers back in 2015 and drifted apart with his own outfit Lashker-e-Islam. During this independent stint with his own outfit, Najar carried out several attacks on numerous mobile towers and personnel who were linked with major cell phone companies in the Kashmir Valley.
Nevertheless, after having worked alone for numerous months, Najar (43) and Hizbul Mujahideen leaders, for reasons unknown, buried their differences and moved forward with plans buried in mystery. Soon after this, he made the decision to cross over to PoK and had made it his accommodation ever since. Reports had led to the belief that he was camping in PoK to continue and organize secret talks with Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.
If sources are to be believed, Salahuddin is believed to have persuaded Najar to go back to his homeland so he could take charge of Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfits’ top commanders—Burhan Wani, Sabzar Ahmed and Yasin Itoo were killed in a counter-terror operations led by the Indian forces. “But this seems to have been a ploy because the same group informed police about his return,” reported an intelligence operative.
Originally from Sopore, Najar first joined militancy as a low level over ground worker (OGW) of Hizbul back in 1992 at the young age of 16. In the beginning, He transported weapons and offered and organized lodging facilities for other militants. He arrested in 1994 but released soon later.
Again in 1999, he re-joined militants and became an active part of the outfits. Najar was said to be the longest surviving terrorist in the Kashmir valley and was classified as an A++ militant. According to reports, he married the sister of a dead militant before moving across to Pakistan in 2015.