Islamic State doesn’t exist in Kashmir Valley, says Home Ministry – The Hindu

Islamic State doesn’t exist in Kashmir Valley, says Home Ministry – The Hindu

Thursday, March 1, 2018

11:36 AM

Clipped from: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/islamic-state-doesnt-exist-in-kashmir-valley-says-home-ministry/article22868177.ece

Women hold a black flag — similar to the ones used by militant group Islamic State — during the funeral procession of Mugees Ahmad Mir, whom security forces identified as a local militant, in Srinagar on November 18, 2017. Photo: Special Arrangement

A Union Home Ministry official says there was no “physical infrastructure” of terror group in the Kashmir Valley.

The Home Ministry said on Tuesday that an engineering student who recently joined militancy had pushed a message on an Islamic State-affiliated news agency that the outfit had killed a policeman in Srinagar’s Soura area on Sunday. A senior Ministry official said there was no “physical infrastructure” of the IS in the Kashmir Valley and the militant might have used the platform to create confusion.

The militant, Eisa Fazli, who the Home Ministry said was associated with both Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen, had pushed the message on news agency Amaq along with a picture of the dead policeman and his rifle.

Jammu and Kashmir DGP S.P Vaid told The Hindu that Fazli was associated with Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM). The outfit that was active in the 90s when militancy was at its peak in the Valley has bounced back in the past few months.

Constable Farooq Ahmed Yatoo was killed when unidentified militants fired on him while he was guarding the residence of separatist leader Fazal Haq Qureshi in Soura, on the outskirts of Srinagar.

Mr. Vaid said that Fazli, who also belongs to Soura, was seen near the murder site and that has led them to believe that he passed on Yatoo’s photograph and that of his rifle to Amaq.

More than 24 hours after Yatoo was killed, Amaq released a message saying this was the second attack by IS militants in the past four months.

The first attack they referred to was that in Zakura area on the outskirts of Srinagar on November 17 when a J&K police sub-inspector was killed, a special police officer was injured and alleged militant Mugees Ahmed was gunned down in retaliatory fire. At the time, the attack was also claimed by TuM.

‘Lone wolf attack’

“We are investigating the claims. Right now we don’t have substantial proof of this but may be it looks like a lone wolf attack inspired by someone with IS ideology. Eisa Fazli was seen near the site where the policeman was killed,” said Mr. Vaid.

Fazli, who enrolled for a B.Tech course at the Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) in Rajouri in 2014, went missing on August 17 last year.

Later, a video surfaced showing him holding a sophisticated weapon and claiming that he had joined the Al-Qaeda.

When asked why would Fazli post a message on an IS-affiliated website when he was a self declared member of Al-Qaeda, Mr. Vaid said, “As per our information, he belongs to TuM. It could have been done deliberately to misguide the investigators. These are claims and counter claims.”

Earlier on Sunday, Constable Kultair Singh, who is from Samba, was also fired upon by militants outside the Chrar-e-Sharief shrine in Budgam.

He later succumbed to his injuries.

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