Two major developments took place in Kashmir on Tuesday. One, security forces have got evidence of Pakistan focusing on fomenting violence in Jammu and Kashmir after the Taliban formed its government in Afghanistan. There is also evidence of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI taking help from terror outfits based in Afghanistan. Terror groups working in the Valley are working under the banner of the Islamic State. On Tuesday, Islamic State posted a video on social media claiming responsibility for killing a ‘chaat’ seller Virendra Paswan from Bihar in Srinagar. This killing took place on the day Kashmiri Pandit businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo was shot inside his medicine shop. The video of the Islamic State was uploaded on social media by front groups working for Pakistan agency ISI.
The second big news is that our security forces have started taking all-out action against terror groups and their sympathizers. Seven terrorists have been gunned down in the last 30 hours in Kashmir. Out of them, two terrorists were those who had killed innocent civilians.
Security forces have also identified terrorists who were working in a group and had killed businessman Makhan Lal Bindroo, school teacher Deepak Chand and Sikh principal Supinder Kaur. Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, in my prime time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’, had promised that those killing minorities will be accounted for, very soon. He seems to have kept his promise. One of them has been gunned down, while the others have been identified and security forces are trying to nab them.
The mastermind behind the killings of minorities seems to be Basit Ahmed Dar of Kulgam, who had been missing from his home since April last year. He joined The Resistance Front (TRF), a front organisation of Lashkar-e-Toiba. Basit Ahmed Dar started his killing spree while taking orders from Abbas Sheikh. After the latter was gunned down by security forces, Bashir Ahmed Dar declared himself the chief of TRF.
Basit, along with Mehran Shallah, Adil and a fourth terrorist, started killing civilians. Two more terrorists, who were part of this group, have been gunned down. This group had carried out target killings of five civilians till now. These include businessman M L Bindroo, ‘chaat’ seller Virendra Paswan, Bandipora taxi stand president Mohammed Shafi Lone, Principal Supinder Kaur and school teacher Deepak Chand.
During the last 30 hours, two terrorists were gunned down in Anantnag and Bandipora, while five others were killed in Shopian in two separate encounters. Three slain terrorists have been identified as Danish Hussain Dar, Yawar Naikoo and Mukhtar Ahmed Shah. They were affiliated with TRF. In Ferrypora, two terrorists Obaid Ahmed Dar and Khubaib Ahmed were gunned down. Kashmir police have confirmed that terrorist Imtiaz Dar, who had killed taxi stand chief Mohd Shafi Lone, and another terrorist Mukhtar Shah who killed the ‘chaat’ seller Virendra Paswan, have been killed.
Intelligence sources have confirmed that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI is carrying out terrorist killings by using TRF, and is propagating them on social media by taking cover of ISIS. Meanwhile, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has already started its investigation into the killings of civilians. A criminal case has been filed on October 10 against overground workers and sympathizers who facilitated these targeted killings. The background of every overground worker helping TRF is being checked. Sixteen locations of terror sympathizers have been raided by NIA. These overground workers are connected with Lashkar, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al Badr, Hizbul Mujahideen and other terror outfits.
In an exclusive interview to our Defence Correspondent Manish Prasad, NIA director general Kuldiep Singh on Tuesday said, “terror groups in the Valley have now become desperate and are trying to target minorities in order to destabilize the situation, but this is not going to succeed”.
The NIA chief said, “After August 5, 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated, peace and normalcy had returned to the Valley. Terrorist activity against security forces continues, but now they have started targeting minorities recently with an aim to strike fear among people and create disturbance, but the ground situation has completely changed. The situation cannot return to the pre-2019 level, howsoever they may try, but it indicates their desperation and finding no other way, the terrorists are targeting innocents.”
Kuldiep Singh said, “Targeting innocent people is not a matter of bravery, it is outright cowardice. If they are brave, let them target security forces, but to kill people walking in cities or villages is not bravery. By carrying out cowardly acts, these elements are trying to create a disturbance, but they will not succeed, because the public at large understands their motives.”
The NIA director-general said, “Targeting of minorities happens only when terrorists get shelter from some people, from overground workers or sympathizers. Till now, Jammu and Kashmir police had been filing cases against people working for terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, The Resistance Front, and referring some of the cases to the Centre for booking them under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and then we (NIA) investigate. Those who were involved in planning terror activity had no cases filed against them. Government of India has directed us to file cases against such people too, and on October 10, we filed a criminal case against such people.”
One should realize the implications of ISI posting video of killing of a vendor from Bihar in Srinagar through the Islamic State. Pakistan wants to create communal strife in Jammu and Kashmir. Its spy agency is desperately trying to boost the sagging morale of terror outfits.
When Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, the writing was clear on the wall. Pakistan has now decided to focus on creating turmoil in the Valley by taking help of jihadi groups from Afghanistan. Since our security forces were on high alert, terrorists took on soft targets like civilians, mostly from minority communities. Security forces have launched all-out operation against terrorists, and a large number of overground workers and sympathizers are being detained.
Groups having soft corners towards terrorists are bound to raise issue of human rights, but it is now known to all that they are being selective. Such groups never raise the cause of Kashmiri Pandits and the killings of civilians. This selective approach by some people was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself at the NHRC Foundation Day function on Tuesday.
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