After terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing of a policeman Farooq Ahmad in Srinagar on Saturday (February 24) evening, Jammu Kasmir police have confirmed the presence of the dreaded terrorist group in the Valley. Speaking to NDTV, state police chief SP Vaid admitted to the presence of the terrorist group and added that it is a big cause of worry as ISIS foothold in Kashmir will have a ‘different meaning’. So far, the police have not been able to find out as to whether it was an attack by a lone militant or a group of militants. However, SP Vaid did clarifiy that while the presence of ISIS could not be ruled out, it wasn’t substantial in Kashmir. He further assured that the state police is capable of dealing with the threat. The police hoped for people’s cooperation so that Kashmir doesn’t turn into another Syria or Iraq.
Earlier, on Monday (February 26), Al Amaq news agency, the official channel of the ISIS which propagates its ideology, claimed that the radical terror outfit carried out the attack and also fled with the policeman’s rifle. The news agency also shot off a warning saying, ‘the war has just begun’. Reportedly, Farooq was guarding the residence of Hurriyat leader Fazal Haq Qureshi, in Soura area of Srinagar at the time of the attack.
A report by The Indian Express quoted a source in the Jammu and Kashmir police confirming that the attack was carried out by Esa Fazili, a recent recruit. He is believed to have links with the ISIS. As per the report, ISIS first took the responsibility of the attack on a Telegram channel ‘Kashmir Villayah’.
This isn’t the first when the terror outfit has claimed the responsibility of any attack in the valley. Notably, in November last year, ISIS boasted that it carried out a shootout in Srinagar which killed a police officer and a militant. However, back then, the claim was passed of as a routine militant attack in Kashmir, with the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying that Indian Muslims won’t let any such organisation establish a base in the country.