Srinagar: Once a close aide of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and terrorist, Sabzar Ahmed Bhat who was killed in a brief encounter with Indian Army in Tral area of Kashmir's Pulwama district on Saturday. Sabzar had joined the terrorist group after his marriage proposal was put down.
Burhan Wani and Sabzar were known to be close friends. He joined militancy at the age of 15 when Burhan's brother Khalid was killed by security forces during an encounter in Tral.
Sabzar became the commander of the Hizbul outfit after Zakir Musa quit the post following the terror outfit refusal to back his statements against J&K's Hurriyat leaders.
In a video tape released this month, Musa stated that "he fights for Islam and would slit throats of separatist leaders who call Kashmir a political problem."
In the video tape, Musa said that his group is fighting for Islam and would turn the valley green. Later in the video, he criticised Hurriyat leaders of diluting the cause of 'Azadi' by claiming Kashmir a political problem. He said that these separatists are traitors and he would hang them on Lal Chowk after slitting their throats. When his group disassociated itself from his stance, he quit from the terrorist outfit after which Sabzar was given the charge.
Zakir Musa became Burhan Wani's successor after the latter was gunned down by security forces last year.
In December 2015, a cash reward was announced by the Jammu and Kashmir government on a group of terrorists and Sabzar was one among them. The other Hizbul terrorists who had considerable influence in the region were Zakir Musa and Saddam Padder.
Sabzar had slipped away from several encounter sites previously taking advantage of forests and heavy stone pelting by the locals.
Unlike Burhan, he stood away from all social media platforms and featured himself once in a video released by Burhan.