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'Ansar Ghazwatul Hind' claims slain militant in Anantnag was from Hyderabad

The claims of 'Ansar Ghazwatul Hind' -Al Qaeda cell in Kashmir - that one of the militants killed in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district on Monday, was from Hyderabad, could give a new dimension to the militancy in Kashmir.

Three militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Hakoora area of south Kashmirs Anantnag district on Monday morning. While two of the slain militants were identified as Eisa Fazili, of Soura in Srinagar, and Syed Owais Shafi of Kokernag in Anantnag, the identity of the third slain militant was not made.

However, a local news gathering agency GNS while quoting a statement of the Ansar, identified him as Muhammad Taufeeq from Hyderabad. "Taufeeq started his jihadi journey in 2017 after making Hijrah (migration) from Indias Hyderabad city to the mountains of Kashmir and was among the first in the ranks of Ansar."The statement said that the purported south Indian was known by two nom de guerre --Sultan Zabul Al-Hindi and Abu Zarr Al-Hindi. Ansar, which is headed by Zakir Bhat alias Zakir Musa, also released an undated picture of the purported south Indian militant along with outfits deputy chief Rehan Khan.

Terming Taufeeq as "descendant and heir of Mujahid and conqueror of India Mehmood Ghaznavi", the Ansar in its official website Al-Nasr said, "We congratulate Islamic Ummah on the martyrdom of the mujahid and preacher Muhammad Taufeeq. His martyrdom is a cry of truth for the Muslims of India."Though, if proven that the slain ultra was from Hyderabad, it wont be for the first time that any person from an Indian state outside J&K joined militancy here. In 2008, two militants from Kerala were killed in an encounter in frontier district of Kupwara, who were identified by their aliases Yasin and Fayaz. They reportedly belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit.

However, this time the situation is different from what it was in 2008. Just last December the Ansar issued an audio message on the 25th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, calling Muslims in India to join jihad. "Every Indian Muslim must prepare to leave his home for jihad because the enemy is preparing for war," the speaker in that message is heard saying.A senior police officer, involved in counter-insurgency in Kashmir, said, "Though the Ansar remains a small organisation, it appears to have won some cachet among young Kashmiri Islamists disillusioned with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar. If it (Ansar) could attract some radicalised Muslim youth from other parts of the country, it would be a huge challenge for security agencies to stop them."
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