Srinagar: The government of India has said that former Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Zakir Musa, has formed Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGUH) and is operating in Kashmir. He has, though, the support of less than ten militants, according to the GoI.
The GoI has also asserted that Musa’s actions remain confined to social media, so far.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said on Wednesday, “Nothing has been established on ground that ISIS is operating in any part of Kashmir valley.”
Ahir was replying to a question by Member of Parliament Amar Singh, who asked the GoI whether ISIS had “started pursuing a nefarious game-plan to turn Muslim-majority areas in the state into a caliphate, as per video issued by militant commander Zakir Musa and his Taliban-e-Kashmir unit”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said in its reply, “Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGUH) formed and led by Zakir Musa (former Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant) has posted adverse materials on social media… There are reports that at present, Zakir Musa has support of less than 10 militants.”
To another question on the number of Talibani militants killed in Kashmir, the GoI said, “No militant Tanzeem (organisation) like Taliban is presently operating in any part of the Kashmir Valley.”
Zakir Musa, who left studies mid-way in Chandigarh where he was pursuing engineering, returned home in 2014 and joined Hizbul Mujahideen and operated along slain Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.
AGUH is reportedly an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group. However, there has been no formal announcement in this regard by any Al-Qaeda promoter from anywhere in the world.
The AGUH has, so far, restricted its operations to social media where Zakir Musa is seen in Osama Bin Laden-style attire. Laden was the founder of Al-Qaeda and was reportedly killed in a US raid in Pakistan’s Abbotabad in May 2011.
The pro-freedom leadership in Kashmir as well as the Hizbul Mujahideen leadership has castigated any move to link Kashmir issue with any global agenda. Although pro-Zakir Musa slogans have been chanted at many places, the AGUH has received flak from Kashmiri society in general.
On August 10, 2017, Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid, while reacting to announcement of AGUH, had said in Srinagar, “Al Qaeda is an ideology, a thought… it (must) influence Zakir Musa. But in my view it is inimical to the culture of Kashmir. People (here) won’t like this (thought) and, ultimately, they (i.e. the likes of Musa) will be isolated.”