Taliban posters appear in Sopore

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jun 05, 2015 21:52 IST

Even as the mobile services remained affected in Sopore town after militants killed two persons working with telecom companies, fresh threatening posters have surfaced in the area.

On the letter head of an organisation claiming to be Tehreek-i-Taliban's Kashmir wing (Tehreek-i-Taliban Jammu and Kashmir), the poster says action on the lines of attacks on telecom companies would be taken against petrol pump owners, who refuel military and police vehicles, cable operators and people selling liquor and drugs, to stop their activities.

The posters also have warned people who host non-local labourers in their homes. The poster warns of dire consequences in case people fail to comply with. This is the first time the Taliban posters have surfaced in Kashmir.

In January this year, intelligence about Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) trying to infiltrate into Kashmir was generated. However, the police in Kashmir have maintained that there was no Taliban presence in the Valley.

The posters have increased anxiety among people who were affected by attacks on telecom companies.

Inspector general of police (Kashmir range) Javed Gillani, however, said the police have never "heard about the Taliban" in Jammu and Kashmir.''

"We have never heard about the organisation. There is no Taliban presence in the state,'' said Gillani. He, however, said that the matter was being investigated.

Most of the mobile tower operators in the area had shut down signal after unknown gunmen killed owner of a mobile tower in Sopore, about 50 km from Srinagar, last month. Earlier, an employee of the BSNL was also killed by militants.

All the outlets of cellular companies in Sopore town of Baramulla district were shut since May 1, the day when unknown pistol-borne masked men simultaneously raided Bharti Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone outlets in the town asking them to stop operations.

While the police claim to have made most towers in the area operational, reports from the area suggest communication continued to remain affected in the hinterlands.

Posters from an unknown organisation "Lashkar-e-Islam" threatening the mobile companies had surfaced in the area.

The police, which was earlier dismissing the threats as local mischief, have increased vigilance in the area and claimed that a local module of Hizbul Mujahideen was involved in the attacks.

According to sources, some youth have been picked up for questioning. The police also claimed to have identified the people involved in two consecutive attacks.

Meanwhile, the police are trying to investigate the connection between the two posters. "We are trying to find out if the posters are the handiwork of the same group," Gillani added.

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