Jammu and Kashmir’s top cop on Friday played down reports of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa being named as the head of al-Qaeda cell in the state, saying “a terrorist was a terrorist” regardless of the terror outfit. Musa had recently broken ranks with Hizbul Mujahideen after terming Kashmir a political issue instead of Islamic struggle meant to enforce Shariah (Islamic rule) in the state. “A terrorist is a terrorist, whichever outfit he belongs to. Somebody who has picked up a gun is a terrorist for us,” DGP S P Vaid said.
He was responding to a question over naming of Musa as the chief of Jammu and Kashmir unit of al-Qaeda. Yesterday, United Jehad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin, in a video, had said the freedom movement of Jammu and Kashmir had no international agenda. “No international outfit, be it Daesh (ISIS) or al-Qaeda or anyone else, has any opportunity or is needed here,” Salahuddin had said.
Asked about Salahuddin’s statement and the split in the militant ranks, the DGP said let them decide between themselves. The situation in Kashmir Valley was limping back to normalcy, he added. Responding to a query that militants were targeting families of policemen in south Kashmir, the DGP said it was their frustration.
Vaid said all law enforcement agencies were supporting the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the role of separatists in funding subversive activities in the Valley. “All law enforcement agencies were in unison. We have no differences. We did support them. When the raids were conducted, the Jammu and Kashmir Police was with them,” he said.
The state police chief said only time will tell whether the top three separatist leaders–chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik–would be questioned by the NIA. The press conference was called to announce Jammu and Kashmir State Marathon 2017, organised by police under civic action programme.
Vaid said through the marathon, to be held on Sunday, the police wants to convey a message of peace in the Valley. “We are working with the people. Jammu and Kashmir police belongs to them,” he said. The DGP said such events would help in reducing stone- pelting in the Valley.
“Yes, it will (reduce stone-pelting incidents). Marathons and sports activities will make children healthy and healthy brain exists in a healthy body, so they will think positive, he said. The marathon has been divided into five categories men full marathon, men half marathon, women half marathon, eight- km run for boys under 14 and six-km run for girls under 14. Total prize money of Rs three lakh would be given to the winners.