Infighting In Al-Umar, Hizb Over Leadership Issue
11 January 2003
The Times of India
New Delhi: Serious infighting has been reported between militant groups including Hizbul Mujahideen and Al-Umar organisations located in a camp inside Pakistan over the issue of leadership. The two groups were an exception in the militant-era in Jammu and Kashmir as both have been led by persons hailing from the Valley. While Hizb was being led by Syed Sallahuddin, Al-Umar was being led by Mushtaq Zargar, one of the three militants released in exchange for hostages of hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999. According to the militants arrested by the security forces in the state, Haripur camp witnesses inter-group clashes in the two militant groups. The interrogation details of the militants, which form a part of a report submitted to the government, reveal that Al-Umar boys lodged at Haripur camp had asked Zargar for their payment, which was due to them. Tension rose when Zargar took two boys to an ISI camp in Rawalpindi and got them severely beaten up. After their return to the camp, the two boys showed the signs of torture to other cadres of Al-Umar militants sparking off trouble. Two of the close confidants of Zargar were beaten up mercilessly and vehicles of Al-Umar chief were burnt down, the report said and added later 20 boys of the militant outfit joined another militant group - Muslim Janbaz Force, leaving Zargar with a strength of less than 10 militants.