Burhan Wani’s successor in the Hizbul Mujahideen, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was gunned down after hours long encounter with the Indian Army in the Tral region of Kashmir’s Pulwama district. According to reports, following Wani’s death last year, Sabzar Bhat had taken his position as the operational chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen in the Kashmir valley. According to reports, Sabzar Bhat was just one of the 8 militants gunned down by the Indian army as the army attempted at stopping an infiltration bid along the Line of Control. Tral is in close proximity to Uri, where the Indian Army had killed two Pakistani Border Action Tea, terrorists on Friday. The Indian security forces had launched a search operation 36 km from Srinagar in Tral’s Soimoh village after they were tipped off about the presence of some big Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in the region.
Here’s all you need to know about Sabzar Ahmad Bhatt, the successor of Burhan Wani:
1) Sabzar Ahmad Bhatt has been leading the outfit ever since former leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen was shot dead by Indian security forces in December last year. According to CNN News18, Sabzar Bhat is also known as the ‘Sab Don’ and has featured in several videos and pictures circulated by the terrorist outfit.
2) Bhat is a local of South Kashmir’s Tral and had been Burhan Wani’s right-hand man for two years when the latter was the leader of the group. This gave him access and links to manage the group after Wani’s death. Bhat was a childhood friend of Wani, who according to the CNN News18 report, had become an important member of the group when he had managed to snatch a rifle during the protests after Wani’s older brother Khalid was killed.
3) Sabzar Bhat was considered to be an A++ terrorist in Kashmir. Bhat was reportedly quite popular in Tral and even though Mujahideen never made any official announcement, Sabzar was considered to be the operational chief after Zakir Rashid had quit the outfit some 15 days ago.
4) Sabzar was one of the 11 people in one of Burhan Wani’s earliest photos, which were aimed to go viral and gain sympathy from Kashmiris. Bhat was considered to be the mind behind the operation of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
5) Sabzar Bhat had a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh against his name. According to reports, he had once earlier been trapped in a gunfight with the security forces, earlier this year. Although, the following day, he had escaped with the help of stone pelters.