February 2002 News

Jaish takes on a new name for J&K

3 February 2002
The Times of India

BARAMULLA (North Kashmir): Unfazed by the ban imposed on it by both the US and Pakistan, Maulana Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad, rechristened as Jamiat-ul- Furkan, has re-emerged in the Valley, threatening to break the lull in militant activities.Besides the Jamiat-ul-Furkan, another outfit — Ansar-ul-Islam — has surfaced in the Valley. Confirming the emergence of the two militant outfits in north Kashmir, senior superintendent of police Showkat Malik told Times News Network that there were no indications that militants operating in north Kashmir were demoralised by Musharraf’s January 12 speech condemning violence.Malik said the militants here have yet to translate Musharraf’s words into action and stop violence. Intelligence reports suggest that militant-recruiting agencies in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have floated Ansar-ul-Islam with former Hizb-ul Mujahideen chief Master Ahsan Dar at its helm, said Malik.In 1997, Master Ahsan Dar’s arrest from a government accommodation at Jawaharnagar in Srinagar had raised many an eyebrow. Dar was released after a year without a hiss. The former Hizb chief is presently in PoK, according to reports.Asked what led to the release of the former Hizb chief, a senior BSF officer said this question could best be answered by the civil authorities.The BSF officer, citing reports, said dozens of militants owing allegiance to the newly-created outfits are present in North Kashmir.According to the officer, armed militants have been infiltrating from the Uri sector during the past few days. There were seven encounters between militants and the security forces last month in which at least six hardcore militants were killed.Deputy commissioner, Baramulla, Niveen Chowdary, said the lull in militant activities in the district should not be taken as a decline in militancy.Attributing the temporary peace in the region to the winter season, he said the rise or fall in militancy could be ascertained only after the winter. Related Stories PoK’s return no precondition for talks Vajpayee Dawood, Shakeel plotted to kill Advani TV India amused by Pak''s anti-India gimmicks 15 militants among 18 killed in Kashmir


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