SRINAGAR: A key militant figure, killed in Poonch, identified as Muneser Hussain was a prominent commander associated with Hizbul-Mujahideen from the district.
“The killed militant has been identified based on police records as Muneser Hussain, son of Sattar Mohammad from Bagyladra, Poonch,” said Lt Col Suneel Barthwal, PRO (Defence) Jammu, in a statement. “He was a Division Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).”
According to him, in 1993, Hussain went to Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK), returned in 1996, and went back to PaK again in 1998. “He has masterminded a number of attacks on security forces. As per police records, his family, consisting of two wives and children, are residents of Surankote, Poonch.”
“Recently, a high-level meeting of the HM group took place in Islamabad, which he attended. The agenda of the meeting was the revival of HM in Rajouri and Poonch,” he said. “From this, we can deduce that Muneer Hussain, along with his bodyguard, was sent with the agenda of reviving HM in Rajouri, Poonch, and the southern region of Pir-Panjal (SPPR).” The PRO stated that Hussain was given a larger leadership role within the “Tanzeems” and was tasked with reviving terrorism south of Pir Panjal.
Hussain, he continued, was the senior-most leader of HM. “He is the most dreaded militant killed in the last 10 years in Rajouri/Poonch.”
He also pointed out that it was evident that Pakistan is attempting to send veteran militants to Jammu and Kashmir to motivate and recruit youth, thereby making “desperate attempts to revive” militancy.