Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen said on Tuesday that “paid agents of the enemy” and the “infamous special operations group of police” were responsible for the “gruesome murder” of the three youths whose bullet-riddled bodies were recovered from an orchard on Monday.
Hizb spokesman Salim Hashmi, quoting his supreme commander Syed Salahuddin, said in a statement that the trio—Amir Reshi, Ashiq Hussain Wani and Naveed Ahmad—had recently joined the outfit, which is the largest indigenous militant organisation in the state.
“The three mujahids were very active members of the outfit and by martyring them in custody the enemy has shown its cowardice which is an indicator of its disappointment.
Media reports, quoting anonymous “official sources”, said the three youths had died in a factional war between Hizbul Mujahideen and its breakaway faction Lashkar-e-Islam led by Qayum Najar.
However, chairing a meeting called in the wake of the killings, Salahuddin said, “Lashkar-e-Islam does not exist. Therefore by calling it a war between Hizb and Lashkar-e-Islam, the government agencies and the puppet government can’t befool anybody.”
“The Indian government and its local stooges are grossly mistaken if they believe that by murdering the mujahids they will succeed in weakening the freedom struggle,” Salahuddin told the meeting.
The Hizb chief said the “martyrdom of these mujahids will fructify one day” and “there will be no one to save the murderers and their facilitators from a bad end”.
The meeting endorsed the strike call given by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani against the killings on Wednesday.