November 2018 News

7 Militant Outfits Have Been Active In Kashmir This Year

15 November 2018
The Tribune
Azhar Qadri

Srinagar: For the first time in more than a decade, the militant groups present in the Kashmir valley have proliferated to seven and include two formerly defunct Islamist organisations whose members were killed by security forces this year. The significant increase in the number of militant organisations has coincided with a rise in number of readily-available recruits. According to police sources, the 200 militants killed in the year so far were affiliated to at least seven militant organisations - two of which had gone defunct and two new additions. The Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba - the two groups which have anchored militancy since their formation in the 1990s - continue to dominate. However, the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which had remained defunct for more than a decade, has made a gradual and serious comeback since 2013. The sources said the Lashkar-e-Toiba accounted for the highest militant casualties this year with 53 of its men being killed by the security forces, the Hizbul Mujahideen stood second with 49 deaths. The Jaish-e-Mohammad, which widened its spread inside Kashmir valley for the first time in the last decade, accounted for 32 militant casualties. The two formerly defunct militant groups, which made a comeback this year, include Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen that lost six of its men and Al-Badr which lost two of its cadre, the sources said. The two new militant groups - Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind and Islamic State J&K - have also emerged since last year and also suffered casualties in counter-insurgency operations this year. Ansar, which lost nine militants, including former Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Abu Dujana, last year saw deaths of its three militants, including top commander Abu Hamas. Islamic State J&K lost eight of its militants this year. Tracking terror: Hizbul Mujahideen: The Pakistan-based group is headed by Syed Salahuddin. Its field commander in Kashmir is Riyaz Naikoo. It lost 49 militants. Lashkar-e-Toiba: Founded by Hafiz Saeed, the LeT has headquarters in Pakistan. It lost 53 militants. Jaish-e-Mohammad: Founded by Masood Azhar, the Pakistan-based group lost 32 militants. Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen: The group headquarters in Pakistan, and is headed by Jameel-ur-Rehman. Its former recruitment attempts went awry as many of its cadres split to form a cell linked to the Islamic State. It recruited three youths in October this year out of which two were killed and one was arrested. Al-Badr: The Pak-based group is headed by Bakht Zaman. It remained defunct for a decade. It surfaced in 2018, two of its men were killed in north Kashmir. Islamic State J&K: A nascent militant group formed last year. It lost eight militants this year. Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind: The group founded by one of the longest-surviving militants, Zakir Musa, last year has drawn its cadre from Hizb and LeT. It lost three militants this year.