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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Telegram exchanges say militant killed in November was ‘first militant’ of Islamic State in J&K

Last week, replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (MoS), Home, Hansraj Ahir told Parliament that there is no IS or Taliban in J&K.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Published: January 9, 2018 1:12:16 am
J&K Police DGP SP Vaid. (Source: Twitter/SP Vaid)

Even as the Centre has ruled out the presence of Islamic State (IS) in Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K Police have reported a “closed Telegram channel” that claims to be “the official channel” of Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK). According to police, the channel, ‘Al Qaraar’, has claimed that a militant from Srinagar who was killed in an encounter on November 17 last year was the “first militant of the organisation”.

In a confidential report sent to Director General of Police S P Vaid on December 12 last year, the J&K Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has said that “through its Telegram channel, the Al Qaraar media group of ISJK has circulated a poster threatening attacks in India”.

The communication (CID SML/SR/2017/763-66), sent by then Inspector General of Police (CID), Abdul Gani Mir, to DGP Vaid, says: “Recently, a closed Telegram channel, namely Al Qaraar, cropped up. The channel claims to be the official Telegram channel of ISJK… (ISJK) has claimed that Mugees Ahmad alias Khattab, R/O Parimpora Srinagar, who got killed in a shootout in Zakura area of Srinagar, was the first militant of the organisation”.

According to the report, Al Qaraar has also posted a document titled ‘Message from the land of Khilafah to the people of Kashmir’ on Justpaste.it. “ISIS believes in delegating the distribution of content through open source content distribution platforms… Justpaste.it is one of the prominent open source content generation and distribution platforms used by ISIS and its units worldwide,” it says, adding that Al Qaraar has claimed that the Urdu version of the document was published in Rumiyah 10, an online magazine of Islamic State.

The Twitter handle of Al Qaraar (@alqaraar04), which stands suspended now, says it “represents Mujahideen of the Islamic State in the gateway of India (Jammu and Kashmir)”. The Twitter handle, which was set up in December last year and has just six tweets and 116 followers, had posted a “special message” for former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa, who broke away to form Ansar Ghazwatul Hind.

“Special message for joining the Caravan of Al-Haqq. We invited soldiers of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind and their Ameer Zakir Musa to join the caravan of caliphate, respond to the call of time and don’t listen to the blame of blamers,” reads the pinned tweet. Last week, replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State (MoS), Home, Hansraj Ahir told Parliament that there is no IS or Taliban in J&K. “As per the report, nothing has been established on ground that ISIS is operating in any part of Kashmir Valley,” said Ahir. “However, Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, formed and led by Zakir Musa, has posted adverse material on social media. There are reports that at present, Zakir Musa has the support of less than 10 militants,” he said.

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