LeT, Hizbul Try To Weaken Each Other In Kashmir14 June 2010
Srinagar: A dirty war of supremacy has broken out between militant outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen (Hizbul) in Jammu and Kashmir. In the past month or so, three top commanders from LeT and Hizbul have been felled in clashes between the two groups in Doda, Reasi and north Kashmir. The latest casualty is the dreaded LeT ultra Manzoor alias Zuber, who was killed by Hizbul militant Irfan Mushtaq in the jungles of Gulabgarh. “A failure to get fresh recruits, drying up of funds and elimination of over 40 terrorists by security forces within four months has created a vacuum in the top leadership. This has triggered a fierce rivalry between the LeT and Hizbul, both of whom want to lose control of areas from where they get extortion money,” said Lieutenant Colonel Biplab Nath, defence spokesman at Jammu. Manzoor’s killing comes days after Chota Bashir was killed by his junior, Lateef, at Dessa village in Doda. The assassin was later arrested by police, but sources said he had surrendered after killing his commander. “The desire to obtain a larger share of the money routed through hawala channels might be a motive behind the killing. Besides, there was an attempt to show who is mightier,” said Nath. Not only is friction growing between the two outfits, there is simmering tension between foreign and local militants. The army says Basharat Saleem alias Shaheen, top militant commander of Harkat-ul-Mujhadeen had been killed by foreign militants. “He [Basharat] was killed allegedly because foreigners suspected him of having been in touch with security forces. He wasn’t in touch with the forces, but was killed on mere suspicion,” said Major General N George, general officer commanding Kilo (counter insurgency) Force. More than 50% of 700 militants operating in J&K are foreigners. These foreign militants are heavily dependent on local people for navigation, logistics and other jobs. Intelligence sources say that most of the militant leaders are foreigners because ISI wants the command in the hands of their men.