Sudhi Ranjan Sen
State’s (IS) presence in Jammu and Kashmir has been registered in a charge
sheet by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed in a Jammu court
recently, noting a “gradual increase” in the outfit’s activity in the region.
State, Khorasan (ISK) has expanded to form a Kashmir-specific unit called
Islamic State – Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), the NIA has said in its charge sheet
and added that the formation of the new entity was featured in Dabiq, a
magazine run by IS, in 2016.
from Kashmir, including a student, a Srinagar-based businessperson and “copper
artists”, formed the core of an ISJK module, according to NIA. They were,
however, caught by chance, according to a sequence of events pieced together by
NIA in the charge sheet. Stopped at a police check post at the Tourist
Reception Centre in Srinagar in November 2018, they tried to escape by lobbing
a grenade but were caught, NIA told the court.
in the charge sheet by NIA were Tahir Ahmad Khan, 24, Haris Mushtaq Khan, 25,
Asif Suhail Nadaf, 22, and Asif Majid Khan, 34. Interestingly, of the four
accused, three had no previous criminal record. Only Asif Majid, the oldest of
the four, had come to the notice of the police for stone throwing. Mushtaq, a
student of English literature, was also pursuing political science and
international studies when he disappeared. His father Mushtaq Ahmad Khan had
even approached the police to trace his son, the NIA probe
presence of the Islamic State in J&K increased gradually” and “the Islamic
State news agency Amaq claimed responsibility for an attack in Srinagar in
November 2017”, NIA said in its charge sheet. It added that said the presence
of IS in Jammu and Kashmir came to notice in 2016.
experts cautioned against taking the group’s presence lightly even if the
danger it poses is second to Pakistan-backed militant groups such as
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which was behind the February
14 attack on a paramilitary convoy in Pulwama, and also last week’s ambush in which
six CRPF troopers were killed in Anantnag.
concept of Azadi [freedom] has mutated over the years. The Islamic State is
already entrenched in Afghanistan. The recent Easter bombings show that they
have spread to Sri Lanka too. I would be surprised if the ideology doesn’t have
its impact in J&K,” said K Rajendra, former DGP of J&K.
2017 attack in Srinagar in which a policeman was killed appeared to be the
first IS-inspired attack in the Valley, NIA said. “The militant killed in the
attack Mugees Ahmad Mir was inspired by IS propaganda,” the charge sheet said.
an emotional connection with an ideology like that of the Islamic State, unlike
that of the Al Qaeda...No one can predict who will get swayed by the IS
ideology,” said Avinash Mohanani, a former Intelligence Bureau hand who spent
many years in Jammu and Kashmir and in counterterror operations.
bombings in Sri Lanka are proof of that... Traditional means of collecting
intelligence will not work because one is not sure where to look and what to
look for. The presence of IS in J&K will be a serious challenge.”
earlier IS modules unearthed in India where individuals were found to have been
self-radicalised, this group was inducted by IS operatives from Jammu and
Kashmir, NIA said.
instance, Tahir was initiated into IS as an active member by Asif Nazir, a
resident of Panzgam, Pulwama, NIA said. Ishfaq Ahmad and Parvez Ahmad – both IS
militants killed in an encounter – taught the group of four how to handle weapons
and explosives, NIA said. The charge sheet is silent on certain issues; for
instance, where the module trained to handle explosives.
Asif Nazir of Panzgam who indoctrinated the four accused to join the Islamic
State, Huzafa – a shadowy figure from Afghanistan – appears to have played a
critical role in nurturing the IS module, according to NIA.
Source: Hindustan Times