Hizbul Chief's Claims Diversionary Tactics: Home Ministry

Hizbul Chief's Claims Diversionary Tactics: Home Ministry

1 April 2012
Times of India
Vishwa Mohan

New Delhi: Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) chief Syed Salahudin's claim of withdrawing his cadres from the Kashmir Valley has no takers in security agencies that term such statement as the terror outfit's diversionary tactics. In fact, government has recently informed Parliament that HM continues to be much active in the Valley. 'Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) accounts for nearly 35%-40% of all terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and is the most active outfit in the Valley next to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in terms of strength and capability to carry out terror strikes,' home ministry told Rajya Sabha barely 10 days before Salahudin's remarks. In contrast to what the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK)-based fugitive has now claimed, the ministry in response to a specific Parliament Question on terror outfit had on March 21 said: 'The HM cadres with the help of its overground workers resort to attacks on security forces by way of firing, grenade attacks and IED'. Government's response that was based on ground report has clearly rubbished what the HM's chief has claimed in an interview to TOI on April 1. Stating that the terror outfit had withdrawn its cadres to border areas after massive protests that rocked the Valley between 2008 and 10, Salahudin said: '...knowing India would crush the unarmed civilians if they saw even two armed militants among the demonstrators' - in what is also believed here as his attempt to strike a right chord with his sympathizers in the Valley. Rejecting his claim as 'diversionary tactics' of the terror outfit, home ministry officials said that there was definite report that the HM cadres were very much 'alive and kicking' in the Valley, looking for opportunity to strike big if security personnel lower their guards. An official said: 'The HM cadres may be down (due to pressure from security forces) but not out. A number of them had been eliminated last year, forcing the outfit to just change its strategy without actually leaving the area'. Referring to the terror outfit's presence, the home ministry in its written response to Parliament had also said that coordinated operations by security forces against militant groups operating in J&K including HM were being launched regularly on the basis of inputs received. 'In the year 2011, total 100 militants including 17 HM terrorists were killed in various actions by security forces and 169 militants including 59 of HM were arrested,' the ministry added.