Hizbul Mujahideen sees gradual resurgence in Kashmir1 min read . Updated: 16 Jan 2020, 01:25 PM IST
The Indian Army on Wednesday gunned down the Hizbul Mujahideen’s district commander Harun Hafaz, in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district.
NEW DELHI : The Pulwama attack in February last year may have established the firm resurgence of the Jaish-e-Mohammad as the most lethal terror outfit in the valley. In the months that followed, the dormant Hizbul Mujahideen caught up and has now started breathing new life into its armed cadre.
The Indian Army on Wednesday gunned down the Hizbul Mujahideen’s district commander Harun Hafaz, in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district. While Hafaz was wanted for several terror incidents including killing of political activists, his elimination was unlikely to stall the Hizbul’s growth, forces said.
“The last lethal commander was Burhan Wani, who was eliminated in 2016. Since then they’ve had a series of commanders who have all been eliminated by the forces. These commanders don’t really matter," said a senior security force official on condition of anonymity.
While intelligence inputs have indicated a presence of as many as 220 militants in the valley, officials believe “almost 80% of them are home-grown militants from the areas of Shopian and Pulwama."
The Union home ministry’s statistics claim that 20 terrorists have been killed since the dilution of Article 370 on 5 August 2019. The officials stated that the re-activation of armed cadre of groups such as the Hizbul is a direct result of having had enough time to “lie low, recruit and train the militants in Kashmir itself," as well as lack of commandeers coming in from Pakistan.
“Because the Indian Army has beefed up the anti-infiltration network across the LoC, Pakistan cannot send in its militants. However, even though the home-grown Kashmiri militants are keeping the fire burning in the valley, Pakistan does not fully trust them because of which it is still trying to keep the smaller Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba camps alive in Kashmir and training certain commanders to steer the groups," an intelligence official said.