‘Al Qaeda’ men stoked trouble in Srinagar

Probe reveals that those who instigated the attack on a CRPF vehicle on June 1 got orders from AGuH

Published - June 24, 2018 10:20 pm IST - New Delhi

 Handiwork of ‘outsiders’: A mob targets a CRPF vehicle in Srinagar on June 1.

Handiwork of ‘outsiders’: A mob targets a CRPF vehicle in Srinagar on June 1.

A group of “outsiders” were part of a mob that hit a CRPF vehicle with stones and bicycles and climbed over it near the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on June 1. One person was run over by the vehicle, which was negotiating its way through stone-throwing protesters, outside the mosque.

An official in the security establishment said the group was also involved in clashes with security forces on May 25. Over 50 persons were injured in the clashes, the first violent incident after the suspension of operations (SoO) was announced for the month of Ramzan.

“After the violent clashes on May 25, the police asked a Hurriyat leader to salvage the situation and sought cooperation in identifying the suspects. The Hurriyat leader told the police that the men who attacked the forces were ‘outsiders’ and not from the Jamia Masjid area,” said the official.

Not allowed entry

Following this, on June 1, the “outsiders” were not allowed to enter the Jamia Masjid. So they targeted the CRPF vehicle that was passing by. They had masked their faces and disappeared after the incident. Investigations revealed that this group had instigated clashes on the instructions of Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind (AGuH) chief Zakir Musa. A former Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Musa floated AGuH, affiliated to the Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) after he broke away from the Hizbul. He released a video clip in 2016, threatening to chop off the heads of Hurriyat leaders and advocated establishing the Shariah (Islamic) law in Kashmir.

“He has immense following among the youth. Whenever there is a protest in the Kashmir Valley, slogans are chanted in his name and that of Burhan Wani. Highly radicalised, he wants Islamic rule in the Valley. Both separatists and the police have accused each other that Musa works for them,” said the official.

On January 3, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that AGuH had posted adverse materials on social media. “There are reports now that Zakir Musa has support of fewer than 10 militants,” Mr. Ahir said.

The AGuH has in the past one year claimed at least two attacks on security personnel that were also claimed by a group claiming allegiance to the Islamic State.

On March 13, Mohammad Taufeeq, 26, a Telangana resident was killed along with two other suspected terrorists in Anantnag in an encounter with security forces. A day later, the AGuH released the first issue of Al-Nasr, a propaganda pamphlet, describing them as “martyrs.”

Al Qaraar media, affiliated to the Islamic State, also claimed that the killed men belonged to its outfit.

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