Musa, [real name Zakir Rashid Bhat] was killed at Dadsara, just 2 km away from his home in Noorpora Tral during a gun battle with security forces on Thursday evening.
Senior police officials said security forces had launched a cordon and search operation at Dadsara village and when the militants tried to escape, a gunfight broke out. A joint team of security forces, including the Indian Army's 42 Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operations Group, and Central Reserve Police Force, was involved in the operation.
The Indian army confirmed the death of what it called the "college dropout" in a tweet on Friday morning.
Musa split from the Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the largest groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, and declared his allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2017. The authorities had also closed all educational institutions and as per the divisional administration in Kashmir, all schools and colleges across the Kashmir division shall remain closed on Saturday (May 25) as well.
Musa was a long-time aide of terror group Hizbul commander Wani.
Thousands of people have attended the funeral of Zakir Musa, described as "India's most wanted" militant, who was killed in Indian-administered Kashmir. He had refused to surrender and fired grenades at Indian police and troops after they zeroed in on his civilian hideout.
"We had reports of three terrorists inside the house, and one of them was believed to be Zakir Musa".
"The first phase of militancy in Kashmir was more of a rebellion, it was more political, and now it's become more ideological, it's become more deeply rooted in the philosophy of jihad and Islam", said Khalid Shah, an analyst at the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.
Musa, who was instrumental in setting up an Al Qaeda affiliate, Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind in India, had been on the radar of security forces, according to the police. A top intelligence officer however, on anonymity said, there was presence of IS and al-Qaida cells in Jammu and Kashmir for last several years now but they are discouraged by the terrorist cadres, particularly the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. People shouted slogans in favour of Musa, prompting authorities to impose curfew in some parts of the Valley as a precautionary measure.
Since 1989, Kashmir has been convulsed by regular episodes of violence that have killed more than 70,000 people, including many Kashmiri Hindus targeted by militants in the early 1990s.