Who is Abu Dujana? Former LeT commander, expert in hoodwinking armed forces, masterminded Udhampur, Pampore attacks

Security forces on Tuesday gunned down Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana in an encounter in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, according to media reports. Dujana, an LeT divisional commander, had given security forces the slip five times.  CNN-News18 reported that Dujana was trapped by security forces when he had come to meet his wife in Pulwama.

Dujana hailed from Gilgit Baltistan, which is a part of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). Dujana joined LeT when he was 17.

According to India Today, Dujana first infiltrated into India in 2010 after which he developed LeT's network across Jammu and Kashmir, especially south Kashmir, which has been a hotbed of militancy since the past year. According to this report, in 2014 Dujana had turned up at a funeral of a militant in Kakpora area of Pulwama.

In 2015, Dujana took over from Abu Qasim, who was killed in an encounter with security forces. According to The Indian Express, Dujana was believed to have been active in north Kashmir, before he permanently shifted his base to south of Kashmir.  The report also quoted officials as calling Dujana as a "brainy militant", who could break security cordons.

In May this year, Dujana and his two associates broke the security forces cordon and escaped to safety in Hakripora village of south Kashmir's Pulwama district. This was the second time in one week that the Lashkar terrorist gave the slip to security forces.

File image of Abu Dujana. YouTube screengrab

File image of Abu Dujana. YouTube screengrab

The security forces had cordoned off an area in Pulwama where 3 Lashkar terrorists including Dujana were hiding. However, Dujana managed to give a slip to the security forces after a stone-pelting mob gave him cover to escape. Similarly in March last year, Abu Dujana and four other terrorists managed to flee from the cordon as local residents allegedly diverted the attention of security forces by pelting stones at them.

Dujana is the mastermind behind the Pampore terror attack that killed at least eight CRPF men last year. Operating mostly in Pulwama district, Dujana had made several public appearances last year during protest rallies in south Kashmir.

News18 reported that Dujana also attended the funeral of Hizbul Mujaheedin commander Burhan Wani in July 2016.

The report added that Dujana was a A++ category terrorist carrying over Rs 15 lakh bounty on his head who masterminded various attacks on convoys of security forces on Jammu and Kashmir's highways.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, a rivalry existed between Dujana and Abu Ismail, the mastermind of the Amarnath Yatra attack. The report also noted that the attack might have taken place out of the game of one-upmanship between the two militants. However, News18 reported that Ismail was a close associate of Dujana and could perhaps succeed him as divisional commander.

However, CNN-News18 reported on Tuesday that the LeT had downgraded Dujana's position in the group five months back. As a result, the report noted that  he left the group to join hands with the Al-Qaeda.

According to a Firstpost article, Dujana and his men were in contact with Zakir Musa, the former Hizbul Mujaheedin commander who pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. "Since Dujana heads Lashkar-e-Taiba operations in south Kashmir, this is only one of several indications that the various groups are working in tandem," the article said.

On Tuesday, operations began at around 4.30 am. Dujana was believed to be on the first floor of the house which was surrounded by the security forces along with an aide. The last fire was heard at around 9.30 am, with Dujana reportedly getting trapped in the debris.

Updated Date: Aug 02, 2017 18:16 PM

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