SRINAGAR -- Zakir Musa, who was heading the Hizbul Mujahideen, quit the militant outfit on Saturday after the group refused to back his statement that Hurriyat leaders would be beheaded for calling the Kashmir issue "political".
Musa, who took over the outfit after the killing of Burhan Wani in July last year, announced that he would not be associated with the Hizb from Saturday onwards. "Following my last audio message, a lot of confusion is being spread in Kashmir. I stand by my speech and by my message," Musa said in the latest audio clip released on social media.
On Friday, Musa said his organisation would chop off the heads of Hurriyat leaders and hang them in Srinagar's Lal Chowk for calling the Kashmir issue "political in nature" and not an "Islamic struggle".
However, on Saturday the Hizbul Mujahideen said the outfit does not subscribe to the statement issued by Musa. "Such a statement (Musa's) is unacceptable to us. It reflects the personal opinion of Zakir Musa," Hizb spokesperson Saleem Hashmi said in a statement emailed to a local news agency in Kashmir.
Reacting to the statement, Musa said in his audio message: "Hizbul Mujahideeen has said that we have nothing to do with the statement of Zakir Musa. So, if Hizbul Mujahideen doesn't represent me then I too don't represent them. From today onwards, I have no association with Hizbul Mujahideen."
Musa, who is in his early 20s, said he had not said anything against a particular person or Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, "but I have spoken only against that individual who is against Islam and talks about freedom to establish a secular state".
"We are fighting for 'Azadi baraye Islam (freedom for the sake of Islam)', I am fighting for freedom for the sake of Islam. My blood will spill for Islam and not for a secular state," he said.
In an audio released on Friday, which went viral on social media, Zakir said, "I am warning all those hypocrite Hurriyat leaders. They must not interfere in our Islamic struggle. If they do, we will cut their heads and hang them in Lal Chowk." He said he was clear in his motives of "fighting to impose a Shariat in Kashmir and not resolving the Kashmir issue by calling it a political struggle".
Militants from the group are believed to be behind the killing of Kashmiri Army officer Ummer Fayaz earlier this week