The security forces who successfully encountered Burhan Wani recently, are now focusing on neutralising another terrorist, Abu Dujana, who is presently a commander in the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. Following Wani’s killing, Pakistan’s ISI is trying to “promote” Dujana as the new poster boy of the separatist forces in the Kashmir valley, say security officials.

The 26-year-old Dujana is responsible for last year’s attack on the BSF convoy in Udhampur and the June attack on the CRPF convoy, in which eight personnel were killed. “His group has been responsible for the death of at least 17 of our men in the last one year. Dujana, a resident of Pakistan, entered Kashmir sometime in 2011-2012 and has close to 20 terrorists in his team. He right now operates from South Kashmir and we are focusing on his quick elimination. He has been categorised as a marked man who needs to be eliminated at the first available opportunity,” said an officer, who is a part of the counter insurgency team operating in the valley.

Dujana, who keeps away from the media, had attended the funeral of the latter, allowing himself to be photographed through camera phones.

“Earlier he used to keep a very low profile and would secretly attend the funerals of his men, but during the funeral of Wani, he climbed on the shoulders of his men and led the funeral procession. He made everyone know that he was present there and would be replacing Wani. He has been asked by his masters to fill the void left by the death of an ‘icon’, Wani,” the official said.

LeT terrorist Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, who was part of the 11-member group picture with Burhan Wani that went viral on the social media, has replaced Wani in the Hizbul Mujahideen hierarchy. But Dujana is seen as more dangerous by the security forces because of his exploits.

Terrorist organisations backed by Pakistan’s ISI, including LeT and Hizbul, are enticing an increasing number of youngsters to join their outfits in the valley by exploiting the current disturbance. “Earlier, they used Wani as a tool and now they will use Dujana. Our strategy is to eliminate any such ‘icons’ before they become larger than life figures for wayward youngsters. Eliminating them is the only sound deterrent in the long run,” the official said.

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