Militant group disowns splinter faction in Indian Kashmir

Qayoom Najar expelled from Hizbul Mujahideen group for violating outfit's constitution, carrying out condemnable acts


Reuters July 23, 2015
"The report submitted by the inquiry commission has proved that Qayoom Najar, in an utter disregard of the Hizb leadership, violated the constitution of the outfit and carried out condemnable acts." PHOTO: INP

MUZAFFARABAD: A Pakistan-based militant group on Thursday disowned a splinter faction suspected of a string of killings in Indian Kashmir, with concerns growing that rogue insurgents could ratchet up tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

The two neighbours both claim the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, and have fought two of their three wars over it since becoming separate countries in 1947.

Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri separatist group whose leader Syed Salahuddin is based in Pakistan, said it had expelled Abdul Qayoom Najar over his involvement in "gruesome murder" and the "character assassination of established pro-freedom leadership."

Indian security forces say Najar leads a breakaway group called Lashkar-e-Islam which has carried out a series of recent attacks around the town of Sopore, killing five telecoms workers and vendors.

The decision to expel Najar was taken by Hizbul Mujahideen's command council headed by Salahuddin, a 69-year-old preacher who turned to militancy in the 1980s. He is widely viewed as allied to hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is 85.

"The report submitted by the inquiry commission has proved that Qayoom Najar, in an utter disregard of the Hizb leadership, violated the constitution of the outfit and carried out condemnable acts. Our constitution does not allow or permit such actions," Salahuddin said in a statement.

Analysts say the emergence of a breakaway faction could mean that a new generation of Kashmiri militants is trying to break free from the ageing separatist leadership -- inspired by militants elsewhere who have resorted to extreme violence and spread their message through social media.

Some have expressed fear that such break away groups may not align themselves with the Islamic State group.

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COMMENTS (3)

alam | 5 years ago | Reply The reports about a break away faction from United Jehad Council of S. Salahuddin is a farce. It is an Indian propaganda and the outcome of the new policies being initiated and implemented by people like Ajit Doval, Indian NSA, and Manohar Parikar, Indian Defence Minister who vehemently advocated creating dissensions among the folds of freedom fighters struggling for their legitimate right of freedom in Kashmir.
Khalid | 5 years ago | Reply The reports about a breakaway faction form United Jihad Council of S. Salahuddin is a farce. It is an Indian propaganda and the outcome of the new policies being initiated and implemented by people like Ajit Doval, Indian NSA, and Manohar Parikar, Indian Defence Minister who vehemently advocated crating dissensions among the fold of freedom fighters struggling from their legitimate right of freedom in Kahmir.
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