HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Lashkar revives itself, Valley fears more attacks

Harinder Baweja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 15, 2013
First Published: 01:33 IST(15/3/2013) | Last Updated: 09:18 IST(15/3/2013)

The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was lying dormant in J&K, is in a revival mode after the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. "There are enough signs that the Lashkar is reactivating itself in the Valley,'' a senior intelligence official told HT.

Expect more attacks, is the larger message that is emerging from the wireless chatter being monitored by intelligence agencies.

The Lashkar, which in the past has often co-ordinated resources with the Hizbul Mujahideen, is also trying to recruit local youth. The worrying aspect, as one senior J&K police officer puts it, is that "ordinary Kashmiri youth feel they have a duty to avenge Guru's execution.''

State CM Omar Abdullah had expressed fears of Afzal's hanging fuelling a sense of alienation among the Kashmiri youth, in an interview with HT.

Intelligence reports now dangerously indicate that the Lashkar in particular has been able to recruit at least 20 to 30 youth in the month following the hanging.

Besides, the Lashkar and other militant groups had made contact with the families of those killed in the summer of 2010, when over 100 youth had been killed by the security forces - a time when the Valley was in the grip of a stone-pelting phase.

"The members had been recruited but asked to lie low but there are indications that many are being trained in localized training camps."

Within a few days of hanging, the Lashkar and United Jihad Council had held a public rally in Islamabad, where they had vowed to avenge Afzal's execution.

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