Lashkar’s Wasim Shah, the ‘don of heff’ and why his killing is important
The killing of Wasim Shah in the Pulwama encounter today was a major achievement for the security forces. The 23 year commander of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in the Pulwama region was gunned down along with another of his accomplices by the Indian security forces.
The Litter area in which he was killed is significant since this zone is considered to be a haven for terrorists. Incidentally this is the first insurgency operation in this area in the past four years.
The operation at Litter signifies another beginning for the Army which has been flushing out terrorists. Shah who went by the alias Abu Osama Bhai was considered as the 'don of heff.' He led a group of militants from the Litter area which was awaiting a clean up by the Indian Army.
When the encounter began this morning, Shah along with his bodyguard Nisar Ahmed Mir made an attempt to flee from the area. He was however trapped by the Army and killed along with Mir.
Shah was a college drop out. A resident of Heff-Shirmal and hence he was called the 'don of heff.' Prior to joining the Lashkar-e-Tayiba he was part of the Burhan Wani faction of the Hizbul Mujahideen. In school he was a left arm bowler who had a keen interest in cricket. Prior to joining the Lashkar-e-Tayiba he helped with his father's fruit business.
He joined the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in 2014 and was instrumental in engineering the unrest that broke out in the Valley following the death of Burhan Wani. Officials say that he had been a supporter of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba since he was in school, but formally joined the outfit only three years back.
Officials say that Shah who carried a Rs 10 lakh reward on his head was actively recruiting terrorists into the outfit. He was also instrumental in several strikes in South Kashmir.