Two major Pakistan-occupied Kashmir based militant outfits, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, have denied their involvement in the assassination of Jamiat Al-Hadith head Moulvi Showkat Shah in an explosion on Friday.
“It is the handiwork of the activists of right-wing parties, including Bajrang Dal and Abhinav Bharat. These elements have entered into Kashmir. These acts are being perpetrated by Indian forces and its intelligence agencies,” LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Gaznavi told newspapers on phone in Srinagar.
Gaznavi claimed the killing “was an attempt to divide people of Kashmir.” The LeT paid tributes to Shah on his “martyrdom”.
Kashmir largest militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen described Shah a sincere and fearless leader. “Shah was martyred to deprive the Kashmiri Muslims of a scholarly and religious personality and create confusion among them,” said Hizb spokesman in faxed messages to local dailies.
“Shah’s martyrdom has created a vacuum which is impossible to fill,” United Jehad Council’s Muzaffarabad-based spokesman quoted Syed Salahuddin in a press statement issued after the killing.