Pro-Islamic State slogans rent air in Srinagar
Srinagar : Thousands of people gathered in Parampora area on Srinagar-Gulmarg road to join the funeral of a terrorist killed by security forces and raised anti-Hurriyat, and pro-Islamic State and pro-Zakir Musa slogans.
Slogans of “Na Hurriyat wali Shariat, na Hurriyat wali azadi, Kashmir banega Dar-ul Islam (neither Hurriyat-type Shariat, nor Hurriyat-type freedom, Kashmir will become an Islamist nation),” rent the air at the funeral of a Tehreek-ul Mujahideen militant, Mugees Ahmad Mir.
The body of Mugees, who was killed in an encounter at Zukura in the outskirts of Srinagar on Friday, was shrouded in Islamic State’s flag, as thousands of people walked with his coffin on Saturday.
While Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday refuted suggestions of IS influence on Kashmir militancy, there’s no gainsaying the impact of Zakir Musa, appointed commander of the terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen following the killing of Burhan Wani at the hands of security forces in 2016.
Musa, after taking over, had threatened to behead Hurriyat separatists for calling Kashmir conflict a political one, describing it instead as a religious war to establish Islamic rule.
In July 2017, the Global Islamic Media Front claimed Musa had been named the head of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a newly created cell of al-Qaeda for Kashmir.
IG Kashmir, Munir Khan, equivocated, “We are in the process of investigations as to what is the quantum of the influence of ISIS on Kashmir militancy.” He was responding to questions about the pro-IS slogans at Mugees’s funeral.
Mugees was believed to be a top commander of Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind led by Zakir Musa. However, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TeM), a local militant outfit, claimed Mugees was its district commander in Pulwama. One police sub-inspector Inam Tak too was killed while a SPO was injured in the shoot-out at Zukura.
Director general of police S P Vaid, who refuted claims of IS being behind the Zukura attack, said, “It’s yet to be verified. I don’t think IS has any presence here.”
People attended the funeral in large numbers despite police restrictions; however, they dispersed peacefully later. The family kept Mugees’s body at the home for the night. He was buried in the ancestral grave, eyewitnesses said.