IS flags in Kashmir a security concern | india | Hindustan Times
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IS flags in Kashmir a security concern

india Updated: Oct 14, 2014 09:49 IST
Toufiq Rashid

Security forced in Kashmir have been alarmed after masked men carried ISIS flags after Eid prayers in Eidgah Maidan in Srinagar last week.

While security officials are trying to identify the involved, sources say a high level meeting to discuss the issue was held in New Delhi.

This is second such incident where masked men were seen publically brandishing the flag of the outfit. Earlier in July 2014 masked men waving flags and banners of (islamic State of Syria and Iraq) and al Qaeda surfaced during protests against Isreals air strikes in Gaza.

While Pakistani-based outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen are operating in the valley, the appearance of ISIS and al Qaeda supporters has caused concern. Graffiti welcoming ISIS, Taliban and AlQaeda has also appeared in many parts of the city.

While Chief Minister Omar Abdullah declined to comment on the issue saying it was `better to contact secuirty agencies on this'', the incident was confirmed by Director General of police K Rajendra Kumar, who said `police is closely monitoring the situation". `Although at the moment we cannot say anything, we have to take this seriously, somebody is holding the flag somebody is giving it to them,' he said.

"Earlier also we had arrested a few boys but no direct link has been so far established but we are looking at the matter very seriously," Kumar added., However a senior official on the condition said that there was no presence of ISIS in the state.

"These are the same people who use Pakistani flags to get media in a tizzy and are now using ISIS flags. Two people holding the flags mean nothing," the official said. Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday however expressed her confidence in the youth of Kashmir, stating they would never join the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(ISIS).

"I have faith in the Kashmiri youth. I saw them rescue victims of the floods by the hundreds. They will not be swayed by a violent organisation like the ISIS," Mufti said. Hindustan Times in August this year had reported about a Kashmiri boy joining the terror outfit from Australia. Government at the time however had denied presence of the outfit in the valley and said the youth was recruited from Syria.