A 30-year-old militant Hameed Lelhari, a resident of south Kashmir’s Pulwama distrcict, has been named as new chief of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), an affiliate of al-Qaida in Kashmir, Times of India reported on Friday.
Lelhari has become successor of Zakir Musa, the first head of the AGH who was killed in a gunfight with forces at Dadsara area of Tral on May 23.
Lelhari served as Musa’s deputy after a group of militabts split from Hizbul Mujahideen and swore allegiance to AGH in July 2017.
The TOI report said that a new video was released on Wednesday by al-Hurr (official media wing of AGH), which was widely circulated on Whatsapp groups, in which Abu Ubaidah Hafizahullah, spokesperson of AGH said that Lelhari alias Haroon Abbas has replaced Musa while Ghazi Ibrahim Khalid appointed as his deputy.
Police officials confirmed the veracity of the claim in the video, the report said.
“Lelhari has taken over AGH but he is hardly a top militant. But police in Kashmir was clueless about his deputy’s identity and background,” it said.