New Delhi: The global terror organisation, al-Qaeda has announced the name of the new chief for its India-specific wing Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH). This announcement comes after its top commander Zakir Musa was killed in an encounter in Tral.

On Wednesday, AGH released a video announcing Abdul Hameed Lelhari, also well known as Haroon Abbas, as its local commander, succeeding Zakir Musa who was gunned down by the security forces on May 23.

The union home ministry officials said, the global terror outfit might be trying to expand its footprints beyond the valley and had a presence in Punjab.

Also read: Why are security forces still looking for Zakir Musa after his death?

“Pakistan has been using proxies to stoke trouble in valley. Though the group claims its affiliation to the al-Qaeda, their links with Pak-based militants cannot be ruled out,” the official added. 

The new chief Lelhari, 30, comes from a poor background like most other militants and is a resident of Pulwama’s Lelhar area. Receiving his early education from the Evergreen Public School in Lelhar, Abbas dropped out in class 8. 

“Every militant in Afghanistan is saddened and mourning the killing of Musa. We are with our Kashmiris brothers in this time of grief and pray that may Allah accept his martyrdom; may Kashmir have many more Zakir Musas. Also, Muslims in Kashmir and other Muslims should take ahead the mission of Zakir Musa, Burhan Wani and Afzal Guru,” the spokesman said in the purported video message released online.

Interestingly, his name did not figure in the top ten wanted militants complied by the Union home ministry recently.