‘Local’ Hizb boys take on Al Badr over burqa fatwa
6 January 2003
The Indian Express
Jammu: In yet another case of inter-group rivalry between militants, the Hizbul Mujahideen and Al Badr are reported to be locked in a battle for supremacy in the border district of Rajouri. The issue: Al Badr’s diktat ordering compulsory burqas for women and girls.The first casualty of this fighting was Samiullah, a top Al Badr mujahideen militant from Pakistan, who reportedly struck terror in the district when he killed three Muslim girls at Hasiyot for defying the diktat. According to sources, Samiullah was gunned down by a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants, led by local area commander, Zahid Farooq, in Gulluti village on the night of December 29. Confirming the death, Superintendent of Police, Rajouri, P.R. Manhas, said the night saw fierce fighting between the two sides. The body, he added, was taken away by the militant’s accomplices. However sources claimed that the Al Badr militants, who were outnumbered, fled the village without taking the body. It was reportedly the Hizbul members, with some help from the local villagers, who buried it. But the next day, the Al Badr militants returned to the village, exhumed the body and took it in a vehicle towards Gambir. Police have launched combing operations in the area. The clash is being blamed on the widespread resentment among local Muslims over the Al Badr’s burqa diktat. The Hizbul, unlike the Al Badr, mainly comprises of locals. This is not the first time that the two outfits have clashed in the border district.