IS has ideological presence in Kashmir: Police Chief
Srinagar, Jun 22: J&K Police Chief, SP Vaid, Friday said that the ‘Islamic State (IS)’ has an ideological presence, if not an infrastructural one, in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Although infrastructure-wise there is no IS in Kashmir, they do have their ideology here,” Vaid told The Kashmir Monitor.
“There is an inspiration through web (of IS). Such militants are inspired by the IS ideology through online,” he added.
IS, a globally labeled “terrorist” organisation, is a former unrecognised proto-state with roots in Iraq and Syria.
Vaid’s comments came in the backdrop of the killing of four militants, who belonged to ISJK, in an encounter that raged in Srigufwara, Anantnag on Friday.
“Terrorists reportedly affiliated to ISJK,” Vaid had tweeted while the encounter was on.
A civilian and a cop were also killed during the gunfight. Over two dozen people were wounded, at least two of them critically, in severe clashes which erupted soon after the firefight began at daybreak.
The slain militants were identified as Dawood Ahmad Sofi of Zainakote Srinagar, Majid Manzoor Dar of Talangam Pulwama, Aadil Rehman Bhat of Shettipora Bijbehara and Mohammad Ashraf Itoo of Hatigam Srigufwara.
“Initially Dawood was known to be affiliated with Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen militant outfit. This militant organization was active on social media and mostly attacked the policemen on duty at different places. The social media profiling and inputs indicate that they were inspired by ISIS module,” a police spokesman, later briefing about the encounter, said.
Slain Dawood, as per the reports, was the ISJK chief. Hundreds of youth awaiting his body marched to Zainakote, beginning a pitched battle with the government forces there.
The stone-pelting, as per a senior photographer present at the location, was the “densest” he had seen in recent times.
“The area was completely littered with tear-gas canisters, stones and smoke,” he said.
A huge number of youth, he said, descended on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway at HMT and blocked it.
Many among them, he added, were seen waving the signature IS flag while throwing a barrage of stones at the forces who were responding with tear-gas shells and shot-guns.
The authorities, including J&K police and Ministry of Home Affairs, historically have been very cautious in declaring IS’s presence in Kashmir.
In January, MoS Home Hansraj Ahir had told the Rajya sabha that “nothing has been established on ground that ISIS is operating in part of Kashmir”.