Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) is going through dissension in its top rung, with its founder Hafiz Saeed and its Kashmir operations in-charge Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi falling out, according to intelligence inputs received by Indian security establishment.
The inputs, accessed by HT, also suggest that terrorist outfits are plotting to assassinate separatist leaders to foment further unrest in the Valley.
The LeT has also decided not to use its own name in future attacks in India and has passed on instructions to issue press releases in the name of ‘Quit Kashmir Movement’ to give an impression of the involvement of “indigenous groups”.
Intelligence sources as also a senior Jammu & Kashmir police official told HT they were “taking precautions” in view of these inputs. As per the data provided by the government in Parliament last week, there has been a spurt in the number of infiltration attempts in recent times — from 121 in 2015 to 371 in 2016 — as also in the number of Kashmiri boys taking to militancy — from 16 in 2013 to 66 in 2015 and 88 in 2016.
According to intelligence documents, the LeT leadership has decided to “not use its name in its actions in Kashmir and actions will be given more and more colour of being carried out indigenously by the indigenous groups”. These inputs coupled with a spurt in the youth turning into militants have set alarm bells ringing in the security establishment.
“Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi has got certain issues with Hafiz Saeed, who is presently under detention. Reportedly, Lakhvi has shifted most of his loyalists to PoK. Inputs reveal that Lashkar has decided to not use its name in its actions in Kashmir,” stated the intelligence documents.
“Reasons are unknown to us so far,” said a security official when asked about the possible reasons for the purported rift between Saeed and Lakhvi.
“Inputs further reveal that Tehreek-e-Mujahideen has been revived and Bilpapa who was earlier in Central Jail in Moulana Showkat murder case and is presently on bail has been instrumental in reviving a group of TeM. This group may plan to target any separatist leader to bring the situation in the valley to a flashpoint.”
Interestingly, Javed Munshi alias Bilpapa was disowned by the TeM after the killing of cleric-politician Maulana Shaukat Shah in 2011. Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadith (JAH) had then declared killers of Shaukat Shah as traitors.
Although TeM is considered to be a dormant militant group, a senior J&K police officer told HT that the establishment was treating the intelligence inputs seriously as the Valley has witnessed violent protests, though intermittently, since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces last year.