Claims IS served a severe blow in Kashmir based on social media monitoring

Police chief, Shesh Paul Vaid told reports after the gunfight in Srigufwara that with the killing of four militants in Anantang the government forces had almost wiped out cadres of IS in J&K.

KHALID GUL
Anantnag, Publish Date: Jun 24 2018 12:58AM | Updated Date: Jun 24 2018 2:26AM
Claims IS served a severe blow in Kashmir based on social media monitoringFile Photo

Based on social media monitoring, the Jammu and Kashmir police claim with the killing Friday of Dawood Sofi and his three associates, security agencies have served a severe blow Islamic State outfit in the state. 

Police chief, Shesh Paul Vaid told reports after the gunfight in Srigufwara that with the killing of four militants in Anantang the government forces had almost wiped out cadres of IS in J&K.

However, a police statement issued the same day only inferred the four slain militants were inspired by IS globally considered a terrorist group.

“The militants were 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,” the police statement released Friday said. 

Anonymously, police officers say the IS outfit in the state that began being talked about two years ago has just two militants left in its ranks. 

A police official said even though these militants might have no connection with the global outfit but since they profess the same ideology so security agencies are not taking it lightly. 

“The trend of raising IS flags in downtown areas of Srinagar during protests started in 2014 and later on many militants also started identifying with this ideology,” he said.

Dawood Sofi alias Dawood Salafi alias Burhan, was a school dropout from Zainakoot area in the outskirts of Srinagar. He took to arms in November 2015 to join Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen militant outfit.

The TeM, which remained active in 1990s and drew its cadre from Alh-e-Hadith school of Islamic thought was revived from Srinagar in 2015 under the command of Mugais Ahmad Mir, also a resident of Zainakoot area. He was killed in a shootout last year and was replaced by Dawood Salafi.

Mir and Salafi for the first time publicly surfaced in Kareemabad-Pulwama at the grave of a policeman-turned-militant, Nasir Pandit and asked people to hoist black flags of Tawheed instead of Pakistan flags during the funeral of militants. 

The members of the group have reportedly owed allegiance to ISIS (Daesh).

However, TeM chief in Pakistan-administered Kashmir Jamil-ul-Rehman dismissed the claim terming it as a ploy to defame the ‘freedom movement’ in Kashmir.

IS however, has owned several attacks on policemen in Kashmir on its propaganda channel Amaq.

On Friday, hours after the death of the four militants, the channel updated its status in Arabic claiming all the slain militants were its fighters.

Earlier, in March this year three militants including one from Hyderabad claiming to be from Islamic State Jammu Kashmir (ISJK) were killed in an encounter in Hakoora-Dooru area of Anantnag district.

They were identified as Syed Ovais from Vailoo - Kokernag and Esa Fazili from Soura-Srinagar, both students of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University.

“Both Fazili and Ovais were very articulate and could have influenced many to join their ranks,” said a police official wishing not to be named.

He said the killing Friday of Dawood Salafi, along with his associates Majid Manzoor Dar of Talangam Pulwama , Aadil Rehman Bhat of Shettipora-Srigufwara and Mohd Ashraf Itoo of Hatigam Srigufwara-Bijbehara, was another major jolt to the outfit that was trying to establish itself in Kashmir.

A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity said the outfit is now left with two militants – one Umar from Panzgam Awantipora and other Adil from Shopian.

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