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Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (Arabic: حزب المجاھدین‎, Ḥizb al-Mujāhidīn, meaning "Party of Holy Warriors" or "Party of Mujahideen") is a pro-Pakistani militant organization that is active in the regions of north-east Pakistan and seeks for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan as an Islamic state.[5]

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen
حزب المجاھدین
HM
LeadersMuhammad Ahsan Dar (founder)
Sayeed Salahudeen (current chief)[1]
Riyaz Naikoo (commander in the Valley)[2]
Dates of operation1989–present
MotivesMerger of J&K with Pakistan,[3] establishment of Islamic caliphate over the world[4]
StatusActive
HeadquartersMuzaffarabad, Pakistan administered Jammu and Kashmir
Designated as a terrorist group by
India, EU and US

Founded by Muhammad Ahsan Dar in September 1989 with support of ISI, it is considered as one of the most important players that evolved the narrative of Kashmiri conflict from nationalism to the religious lines of jihad and is widely deemed as the military wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.[6][7] Its headquarters are located at Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir and a liaison office is maintained at Islamabad, capital of Pakistan.[8]

The group has been designated as a terrorist group by India,[9] the European Union,[10] and the United States.[11] It continues to operate within Pakistan.[12]

Contents

FoundationEdit

In 1988, Muhammad Ahsan Dar, a Jamaat-e-Islami school teacher[13] choose to cross the LOC to Pakistan administered Kashmir. After being imparted with military training, he returned to Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir to establish a hard-line struggle against the perceived Indian occupation.[14] He was joined by Mohammed Abdullah Bangroo, another Jamat militant veteran, in the role of military advisor and in around April, 1990, the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen was established.[14]

Sponsored by Pakistani state actors, they did not suffer from any shortage of resources and by 1990, the organisation asserted a strength over 10,000 armed cadres, most of whom were trained across the border.[14][8] Many were trained in Afghanistan, too.[6] Heavily critical of all other actors; who accepted independence as a third option in the Kashmir conflict, the group solely advocated for an outright integration of Kashmir with the nation-state of Pakistan.[14] Paul Staniland notes that the organisation primarily mobilized through the Jamaat-e-Islami network but initially represented a minority politico-religious ideology of theirs'.[13][15]

Early daysEdit

The organization's first major strike is deemed to be the assassination of Maulvi Farooq, the then Mirwaiz of Kashmir and chairman of the All Jammu and Kashmir Awami Action Committee, (a coalition of disparate political parties in Jammu and Kashmir which sought resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance to the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state) on May 21, 1990.[14][16][17] 21 people were killed in the fracas, that ensued.[14] The group gradually sought for a greater control of the socio-economic sphere of Kashmir and in June, 1990 had asked orchardists to abstain from exporting their produce through "Hindu lalas" in order to severe the link between the "local rich class" and their counterparts in the Indian state.[14]

On 27 October 1990, a resolution supporting the annexation of the state with Pakistan was passed.[7]

The group spread its wings rapidly and units were set up at the Jammu province by February, 1991.[14] Field intelligence units were also set up across different places.[14] Cadre was extensively mobilized in the name of Islam[6] The establishment of a supreme advisory council followed by a student wing, took place across Spring, 1991.[14] The latter though became a separate organisation in its entirety, in June 1991, under the leadership of Nasir-ul-Islam, after it organised the kidnapping of a high-profile bureaucrat.[14] After a 1991 merger with the Tahreek-e-Jihad-e-Islami (TJI), which was backed by Jaamat, Hizbul gained significant military might and its strength reached about 10,000.[18][19]

By the end of March 1991, they had asked the local government to disburse the record of all permanent resident certificates and threatened all non-residents to leave the state within a month.[14]

Insurgency decadeEdit

Friction with JKLF and alliance with JaamatEdit

The first three years of the insurgency (1990–92) were dominated by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).[20] Despite being supported by Pakistan, they under the renewed ideology of their new leaders shifted to a secular pro-independence stance and attracted huge support in the valley in their strategy to organize a mass-resistance, that would compel India to withdraw from Kashmir.[20][7]

But, a lack of social fabric among the new mass-recruits, (who often did not share a common ideology) coupled with an urban-centric focus led to the gradual weakening of JKLF[21] Indian counter-insurgency operations removed much of its leadership, wiping out its central control.[22] Pakistan was also heavily incentivized by the popularization of Jihadi sentiments in the Kashmiri youth; and utilized the situation to gain control over Kashmir.[23] By 1991, ISI had began to cease providing of funds to JKLF, (which stood its ground for independence of the territory) and were instead advocating splinter factions to break off and form their own militant groups after receiving due training in their territory.[23] Subsequently, Hizbul Mujahideen came to be favored by the ISI as a potentially valuable resource and finally, after JKLF rejected certain demands of nuancing their pro-independence stance; all of their erstwhile camps in Azad Kashmir were handed over to Hizbul.[24] Jamaat also scoped the opportunity and choose to infiltrate Hizbul from within, by installing loyal members at key central positions.[13] Numerous jihadi factions too departed from JKLF and were subsumed within Hizbul.[25]

Soon enough, arrests by Indian forces necessitated a re-organisation of the central command and in the reshuffle, Ahsan Dhar, a moderatist leader with an independent mind was asked to step down and Sayeed Salahudeen, a radical Jamaat loyalist, was appointed instead.[14][13] Dar was soon expelled by Salahudeen loyalists in late 1991 and formed a splinter group-- "Muslim Mujahideen", which quickly fell apart after his arrest in 1993.[19] An overall restructuring to enable a collective, hiearchical and institutionalized leadership along the lines of Jaamat[15] soon followed which lend a much-needed organisational strength that lacked JKLF.[26][19] Hizbul also managed to increase their penetration into the rural belt courtesy the utilization of Jaamat's socio-religious authority and homogeneity.[26][15] An implementation of Sunni culture in the ground-roots helped their cause further.[6]

In the meanwhile, Hizb-ul Mujahideen rigidly opposed JKLF, all throughout and had rejected JKLF's nationalist agenda in favor of an Islamist one.[14][24] There were increasing clashes with one another and the differences reached their peak by 1991, as it publicly opposed JKLF's agreement to a solution of the dispute without the aid of UN resolutions.[14] Military clashes between JKLF and Hizbul became increasingly commonplace after the first such incident in April, 1991 wherein a JKLF area commander was killed.[27] It began to systematically target members of JKLF, killing them and intimidating others to defect.[28][29][30] JKLF leaders had alleged HM militants to be informers for the Indian forces and Amanullah Khan even complained of his cadres in Pakistan being coerced to join the ranks of HM.[31] Fuelled by resources from Pakistan State actors and Pakistan Jamaat; Hizbul also targeted other militant groups, killing hundreds while neutralising and disarming more than 7,000.[32][29][28]

Hizbul also murdered several of the pro-independence intelligentsia with JKLF leanings. Some of these killings included Hriday Nath Wanchoo, a Kashmiri Pandit human rights advocate.[33] Hizbul militant Ashiq Hussain Faktoo was convicted for his killing.[34] Other prominent killings included Dr. Abdul Ahad Guru who was a cardiologist and JKLF ideologue, Mirwaiz Qazi Nisar and Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Mohammed Maqbool Malik, Prof. Abdul Ahad Wani,[33][35] Muhammad Sultan Bhat, Abdul Ghani Lone, and Abdul Majeed Dar.[citation needed]

Despite self-proclaiming to be not against the local Hindu population[citation needed]; Hizbul was instrumental in preventing the return of Kashmiri Pandits and Salahudeen spoke of them being Hindu agents whilst threatening to auction their properties.[6] Many of their operations during 1994-95 was designed to polarise along religious lines.[6]

ZenithEdit

By 1994, many JKLF members had denounced militancy and some even joined state politics, which led to further splintering amongst JKLF and a complete yield of its military dominance to Hizbul which grew up to be the major force in Kashmir despite facing a much widespread and effective counter insurgency response from the Indian forces.[33][36][8] This survival has been attributed to its widespread penetration across rural networks. By 1996, the arm-bearing factions of JKLF were entirely crushed[30] and with other local insurgent factions having either disbanded or becoming defunct or having switched loyalties to the Indian cause; Hizbul was the sole militant group operating in the valley.[37]

Analysts and academics though believe that Hizbul lacked popular support in the valley and that their aversion to pro-independence ideas and Sufi practices alienated many Kashmiris.[6]

RetreatEdit

But roughly beginning the same time, Hizbul actually started to lose their popular influence in the valley.[38] People from the fellow militant groups often aligned with the counter insurgency operations to avenge the Hizbul or protect themselves from the Hizbul, killing many Hizbul commanders in the process.[38] They also imparted ground intelligence to the Indian forces; thus systematically degrading Hizbul's own networks.[38] A simultaneous targeting of Jaamat's activists led to their revoking theirs open support for Hizbul, which destroyed the social fabric of Hizbul to a large extent.[38] By the end of the 1990s; Hizbul was forced to go for a retreat.[38] The Al-Badr faction split in 1998 due to a dislike of excessive interference by Jaamat.[39]

Ceasefire of 2000 and withdrawalEdit

In the following years, the group started to fragment as ISI pushed foreign extremists into Hizbul. Rivalries developed often leading to violence, and one such incident culminated in the killing of 21 people in a Pakistan administered Kashmir village in 1998.[8] Several Hizbul members were increasingly displeased with ISI's manners of treating the Kashmiris and with more militants joining mainstream politics, they were pushed to the sidelines.[8] The Chittisinghpura massacre by the newly introduced Lashkar-e-Taiba is deemed to be a trigger point that

Starting April 2000, there were alleged parleys between Abdul Majid Dar, the Kashmir commander and other top leaders of Hizbul with Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials in Delhi and other venues; that led to the build-up of a ceasefire offer.[8][39] Offensive counter-insurgency operations against the group were also reduced.[8] On 24 July 2000, Dar, along with four other Hizb commanders, made an unconditional ceasefire declaration for a span of 3 months, from the outskirts of Srinagar[40] and asserted it to be backed by the consent of the local populace, who were surveyed.[8] Majeed Dar had also apparently visited Pakistan before the announcement for consultations with the HM Central Command.[8] The ceasefire was welcomed and approved in India, near unanimously and was immediately ratified by the Pakistan-based commander Sayeed Salahudeen who until then was against any diplomatic resolution.[41][8][42] The Pakistani government soon enough ordered its forward posts on the LOC, to abide by a no-shoot first policy.[8]

A unit-commander from Azad Kashmir in the Pir-Panjal area disagreed with the ceasefire and was expelled along with his faction; leading to a violent clash with the Pakistan Jaamat.[39]

On the next day, Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC), a coalition of 16 radical Islamist organisations (that comprised Hizbul and was incidentally chaired by Salahudeen himself), severely criticized the ceasefire declaration.[8] Hizbul was soon revoked of its council membership and Salahudeen lost his chair.[8] Jamaat leaders too vociferously criticised the ceasefire declaration and alleged it to be an act of sabotage.[8] LeT launched multiple attacks killing and injuring numerous civilians as a form of protest against the ceasefire declaration with an aim to derail it.[8]

Whilst two rounds of talks were smoothly held and a cricket match was played out between Indian armed forces and Hizbul, Salahuddin was allegedly forced by ISI to set out a deadline for tripartite talks of August 8.[8] The Indian government did not agree to indulge with Pakistan and whilst Pakistani government initially maintained a neutral posture of abiding by the wishes of the Kashmiri populace, it later changed its stance and demanded a representation.[8] Salahuddin then called off the talks on August 8 under flimsy pretexts; interpreting an address of Vajpayee to the Parliament as calling for a strict abidance of the Indian delegation to the Indian constitution.[8] He also re-warned[25] of more escalation and threatened to spill their activities over the rest of India; incidentally Hizbul's earlier stance was to wage war against the Indian occupation but not against India.[8][42] The US State Department as well as the British Foreign Office blamed Hizbul for the failure of the process.[8]

The ceasefire move, its immediate endorsement and subsequent withdrawal highlighted deep divisions between the more hawkish operatives in Azad Kashmir and those based in India.[1] Dar was soon removed from his role of military commander and in May 2002, he was formally expelled from the Hizb along with a number of supporters and commanders whilst being.denounced as an agent of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).[43][44] Dar and several other ex-leaders were assassinated by Hizbul between 2001 and 2003.[40][45] By 2003, most key leaders of Hizbul were in Azad Kashmir and they were quite inactive in Kashmir; a fragmented Hizbul survived a total collapse but had metamorphosed into a vanguard group.[38]

Yet, in 2004 it was still “regarded as one of the most influential groups involved in the conflict over Kashmir.”[44] As of 2009, it was supposedly “the brand name of the Kashmir militancy because of being the largest and the most important in terms of its effectiveness in perpetrating violence across Kashmir.”[44]

2010sEdit

On 8 July 2016, Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, along with 2 other insurgents were shot dead by Indian security forces.[46] Widespread protests erupted in the Kashmir valley after Wani's death, causing unrest in the valley for nearly half a year.[47] More than 96 people died[48][49][50][51][52] while over 15,000 civilians and more than 4,000 security personnel were injured.[53][54] The violence which erupted after his death was described as the worst unrest in the region since the 2010 Kashmir unrest,[55][56] with Kashmir being placed under 53 consecutive days of curfews imposed by authorities.[57][58][59]

Wani was succeeded by Sabzar Bhat, who had previously been a close aide of his.[60][61] Indian security forces considered Bhat effective at using social media to recruit youth towards militancy.[62][63] Indian security forces previously located him in Rathsuna, in March 2017, but he was able to evade them after a 15-hour gunfight that left one policeman dead.[64][65][66][67]

Bhat was killed in May 2017, and subsequently buried in Pulwama.[68] His death sparked clashes and a police-imposed curfew, during which a youth was killed in clashes with the Central Reserve Police Force.[69] Internet and phone service across Kashmir was suspended in an attempt to calm the region.[70][71]

A previously-unknown militant group, Mujahideen Taliban-e-Kashmir, claimed it had provided information on Bhat to security forces.[72] The claim remains unverified, though some analysts suggested it reflected a growing schism between various militant groups in Kashmir, with members of Hizbul Mujahideen concerned that Zakir Musa may have betrayed Bhat.[73][74]

Current Status (2017 onwards)Edit

Riyaz Naikoo is the current Hizbul Mujahideen Chief in Kashmir Valley. Riyaz Naikoo is categorised as A++ in the security force's list of Top Militant Commanders in Valley. Both Naikoo and Kulgam area commander Altaf Kachroo carry a Bounty of 1.2 Million each for information leading to the arrest.[75] The list includes two categories A and A++. He is reported to be one of the most dreaded Hizbul commanders operating in Kashmir. Naikoo has promoted Pakistani propaganda and is a supporter of Pakistan in Kashmir[citation needed]. He has involvement in several murder cases, including murder of policemen. Naikoo has also released many videos threatening informers and local police men to stay away from anti militancy operations. Naikoo is reported to have massive support of Over Ground Worker (OGW) of Hizbul.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b "Security Forces Issue List of Top Ten Commanders in Valley". Mumbai Mirror. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  3. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (17 May 2002). Pakistan: Nationalism Without A Nation. Zed Books. p. 180. ISBN 9781842771174.
  4. ^ Warikoo, K. Religion and Security in South and Central Asia. Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 9781136890208.
  5. ^ European Foundation for South Asian Studies. "How Pakistani Madrassas Contribute to Radicalization Dynamics and Religious Terrorism in Indian Administered Jammu & Kashmir". www.efsas.org.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Behera; Chadha, Behera Navnita (2007). Demystifying Kashmir. Pearson Education India. p. 154. ISBN 9788131708460.
  7. ^ a b c Kiessling, Hein (15 November 2016). Faith, Unity, Discipline: The Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781849048637.
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  9. ^ "Banned Organisations". Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 29 January 2013. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ "Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/2430 of 21 December 2015". Official Journal of the European Union. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
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  12. ^ Kiessling, Hein (15 November 2016). Faith, Unity, Discipline: The Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781849048637.
  13. ^ a b c d Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780801471025.
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  17. ^ "SC upholds life sentence for killer of Mirwaiz's father - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
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  20. ^ a b Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780801471025.
  21. ^ Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. pp. 74, 75. ISBN 9780801471025.
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  23. ^ a b Bose, Sumantra (June 2009). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. p. 126. ISBN 9780674028555.
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  28. ^ a b Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780801471025.
  29. ^ a b Bose, Sumantra (June 2009). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674028555. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  30. ^ a b Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 83. ISBN 9780801471025.
  31. ^ Schofield, Victoria (2010). Kashmir in conflict India, Pakistan and the unending war. I.B. Tauris. p. 157. ISBN 9780857713988. OCLC 929274072.
  32. ^ Jeffrey S. Dixon, Meredith Reid Sarkees (12 August 2015). A Guide to Intra-state Wars: An Examination of Civil, Regional, and Intercommunal Wars, 1816-2014. CQ Press. pp. 571, 572. ISBN 9781506317984.
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  35. ^ Santhana,, Jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir 2003, p. 128.
  36. ^ Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 81. ISBN 9780801471025.
  37. ^ Bose, Sumantra (June 2009). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard University Press. pp. 133, 136. ISBN 9780674028555.
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  39. ^ a b c Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780801471025.
  40. ^ a b "Abdul Majid Dar shot dead". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  41. ^ "Hizb expels three top commanders". 5 May 2002. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  42. ^ a b Bhatnagar, Gaurav (2009). "The Islamicization of Politics: Motivations for Violence in Kashmir". 20 (1): 1–20. doi:10.7916/D8WQ01S2. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  43. ^ "Dar & Co are RAW agents: Hizbul hawks". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  44. ^ a b c Staniland, Paul (18 April 2014). Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse. Cornell University Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780801471025.
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  46. ^ "Who was Burhan Wani and why is Kashmir mourning him?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  47. ^ "Doctors stage protest in J-K against civilian deaths in Kashmir unrest". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 August 2016. Kashmir Valley is on the boil since July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. The widespread protests claimed the lives of 55 people and left over 6000 injured, with hundreds hit by pellets in their eyes as a result of which, doctors say, a number of youths have lost their eye sight.
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  56. ^ "Five civilians killed, 31 injured in fresh firing in Kashmir; toll reaches 65". Hindustan Times. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016. The worst violence since 2010 — when the Valley was rocked by similar protests leaving scores dead and injured — has sparked a verbal spat between India and Pakistan, both blaming each other for the flare-up.
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  60. ^ "Kashmir conflict: Top militant Sabzar Bhat killed, police say". BBC News. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  61. ^ Parvaiz, Athr (30 May 2017). "Since July 2016, Kashmir's schools and colleges stayed shut on 60% of working days". Hindustan Times. The killing of Wani’s successor, Sabzar Bhat, on May 27, 2017, threatens to further stoke the fire raging since the April 9, 2017 by-elections for a parliamentary seat. On May 27, 2017, separatists announced three days of strike and protests to mourn Bhat’s death while the police imposed curfew to prevent people from gathering. Yet, clashes took place between protesters and personnel of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force resulting in the killing of a youth and injuries to 70 others. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  62. ^ Yasir, Sameer (29 May 2017). "Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat killed: How security forces pulled off encounter in Tral". Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. The security forces pointed out that 26-year-old Ahmad, a resident of Ruthsana village in Tral, was the brain behind utilising social media as a tool to attract young boys towards militancy. He was marked as an 'A-category' militant.
  63. ^ Nanjappa, Vicky (30 May 2017). "Sabzar Bhat, the terrorist who shot more selfies than bullets". Oneindia. Retrieved 3 June 2017. Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that like Wani, this person too was a social media tiger. The youth of Kashmir unnecessarily get carried away by such people who make a pomp and show on the social media. This is just a strategy on their part to attract the youth into their fold, the official also added.
  64. ^ Malik, Irfan Amin (28 May 2017). "Sabzar's journey from 'hardworking farmer to tech-savvy fighter'". Greater Kashmir. Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  65. ^ Singh, Aarti Tikoo; Pandit, M Saleem (28 May 2017). "Slain terrorist a drug addict who dropped out in Class X". Times of India. Retrieved 3 June 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  66. ^ Wani, Ashraf (12 July 2016). "From failed lover to terror chief: Meet Hizbul's new poster boy in Kashmir". Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017. Sabzar Ahmad Bhat alias 'SAB DON', son of Ghulam Hassan Bhat, resident of Ruthsana in Tral, is believed to be the brain behind the use of social media as weapon among terrorist groups for last two years in Kashmir.
  67. ^ "15-hr gunbattle ends in J&K's Tral; policeman martyred, two terrorists gunned down — Complete details inside". Zee News. 5 March 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  68. ^ Rashid, Toufiq (28 May 2017). "Burhan Wani's father attends funeral of Hizbul militant Sabzar Bhat". Hindustan Times. Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was buried in his village in Pulwama on Sunday morning, a day after the 27-year-old was killed in a gun fight with security forces in south Kashmir. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  69. ^ Parvaiz, Athr (30 May 2017). "Since July 2016, Kashmir's schools and colleges stayed shut on 60% of working days". Hindustan Times. The killing of Wani’s successor, Sabzar Bhat, on May 27, 2017, threatens to further stoke the fire raging since the April 9, 2017 by-elections for a parliamentary seat. On May 27, 2017, separatists announced three days of strike and protests to mourn Bhat’s death while the police imposed curfew to prevent people from gathering. Yet, clashes took place between protesters and personnel of he state police and the Central Reserve Police Force resulting in the killing of a youth and injuries to 70 others. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  70. ^ Masoodi, Nazir (1 June 2017). "CCTV Footage Helps Police Hunt Down Terrorists In Kashmir's Sopore, 2 Killed". NDTV. Retrieved 3 June 2017. Internet services were suspended across Kashmir after Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, who has succeeded Burhan Wani, was killed in south Kashmir's Tral on Saturday.
  71. ^ "Not Even 24 Hours After It Was Restored, Mobile Internet Services In Kashmir Valley Snapped Again". The Huffington Post. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir snapped the mobile internet( 2G, 3G and 4G) services in Kashmir fearing law and order problems, especially after the killing of top Hizbul Mujahedeen commander Sabzar Bhat in Tral encounter on Saturday. It has not even been 24 hours since the social media sites and applications including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter were restored in Kashmir Valley. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  72. ^ Rashid, Toufiq (1 June 2017). "J-K: Unknown militant group claims to have killed Hizb commander Sabzar Bhat". Hindustan Times. The group – which identified itself as Mujahideen Taliban-e-Kashmir – said they provided information on Bhat to security forces because “he was coming in the way of Kashmir’s Islamic struggle”. A video that surfaced on the social media on Wednesday showed an armed masked man swearing allegiance to former HM commander Zakir Musa in his quest to “turn Kashmir into an Islamic state”. Another clip posted on Thursday showed three masked men telling both militants and Kashmiri citizens to follow Musa unless they wanted to face the same fate as Bhat. “We provided information on the militants in Arampora, and we will continue to do so if anybody comes in our way,” one of them said. “Sabzar got what he deserved, and we don’t care who becomes the new chief.” Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  73. ^ "Local Miliant Group Claims It Informed Police About Hizb Commander Sabzar Bhat's Whereabout". Outlook. 2 June 2017. Hizbul Mujahideen commander and slain militant Burhan Wani's successor Sabzar Bhat's killing in Tral encounter has only exposed the widening schism between the militant groups in the valley. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  74. ^ Kanwal, Rahul (30 May 2017). "Was Sabzar Bhatt betrayed by boss Zakir Musa? Intel inputs suggest rift among Kashmiri terrorists". Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. Radio and mobile chatter intercepted by India's intelligence agencies reflect a high level of distrust between former Hizbul commander Zakir Musa and the terror outfit he had led till recently. In the aftermath of the encounter killing of Burhan Wani's successor Sabzar Bhatt, Indian agencies have recorded multiple conversations where Hizbul Mujahideen cadre can be heard discussing whether Zakir Musa betrayed Sabzar Bhatt. Hizbul terrorists seem to suspect that a personal messenger close to Musa tipped off the Jammu and Kashmir police about the location of Sabzar's hideout. Sabzar was killed last week in an encounter very close to his hometown of Tral.
  75. ^ "After Sabzar Bhat's killing, longest-surviving Hizbul commander could be its new chief". Hindustan Times. 30 May 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2018.

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