No Black Cloud

  • Shabir Ibn Yusuf
  • Publish Date: Jun 11 2017 3:24PM
  • |
  • Updated Date: Jun 11 2017 3:24PM
No Black Cloud

Security agencies concede there is no Islamic State presence in Kashmir

Most Fridays, flags of the self-styled Islamic State are waved in Srinagar. They first started appearing in protest rallies outside Jamia Masjid in Srinagar about a year and a half ago.

Initially, the waving of the flags worried the security establishment. But the in depth investigation that followed their appearance revealed that there was no ISIS in Kashmir. "There is no presence of IS in any part of Kashmir at all,” Director General  of Police S P Vaid told Kashmir Ink. “These boys are doing mischief by waving IS flags. They do not know what ISIS is.” During its investigation, the police had detained at least nine youth for waving the flags. “Their sustained interrogation revealed that they did not even know what IS actually was,” said a police officer who was involved in the interrogation of the nine boys.

“It also revealed that the youth hoist the flags just to annoy the security forces”. He said they were doing it just for adventure. “For them it is a flag with the Kalima written on it," the officer said, adding that the youth see it as representing Islam. “Among the flag-wavers 60% were school students.” Another police official said in April 2016, a group of veiled youth who routinely protest on Fridays around Nowhatta, even unfurled an anti-Daesh posters one day, blasting the international terrorist group for mounting attacks on mosques and killing innocent Muslims. “Our investigation also revealed that the IS' monthly magazine, Dabiq, has no readership in Kashmir.” The official said in September 2016, when the valley was engulfed by unrest, central and state security agencies analysed whether the violence had any link with the Islamic State. “There were no pointers that are worrisome,” he added. 

Mufti Abdul Sami Qasmi, a 45-yearold self-styled ideologue of the Islamic State who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in January 2016, had travelled to Kashmir at least twice but his sustained interrogation and subsequent investigations too did not find any link to IS in Kashmir, the official said. So far, only one Kashmiri has even been accused of having anything to do with the IS. Sheikh Azhar ul Islam, a 23-year-old man from Preng village in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was allegedly among three alleged IS sympathisers who were deported from the UAE for purportedly planning to carry out terror attacks in India.

His family has denied the allegation, however. They insist he was just a waiter in the UAE, trying to help the debt-ridden family. He was arrested by the NIA on his arrival at the Delhi airport in January 2016. “I am a poor man and have debt on me. He went abroad to relieve us of the debt. We are poor people,” his father said.

After the continuous hoisting of flags Army Chief, General Rawat said they will be treated anti-nationals. The separatist leadership in Kashmir has time and again criticised global jihadi outfits like SIS and Al Qaeda and distanced Kashnir's “freedom struggle” from them, saying it was "indigenous”. “The ongoing freedom struggle is indigenous. Terrorism and our freedom movement are poles apart,” 

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have said in their statements. "The Indian agencies are desperate to malign our movement and under a well thought out plan they are drafting policies to bring a bad name to the freedom struggle of Kashmir. "Our movement has nothing to do with these groups and they are nonexistent in the state. There is no role for

these groups in our movement,” they have said. "Authorities in Delhi have now started to play a vicious game under the garb and label of ‘holy war’.

It is a ploy to create a wedge between people and the bravehearts (militants).” In early May, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahudin echoed the Hurriyat's stand saying there was no place for groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Jammu and Kashmir. "This movement is purely local and indigenous. It has no international agenda. Al Qaeda, Daesh or Taliban have no involvement or role in Kashmir," Salahudin said in a statement.  “It has been proven now that ISIS is the brainchild of Western powers to crush Islam and those outfits who stand for the Islamic principles. This organisation has butchered Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey and  Afghanistan, so our people in the name of Islam should not get swayed by this terrorist organisation." Salahuddin had made it clear that the ongoing freedom struggle in Kashmir was indigenous and had no backing of any "international forces".