J-K: Unknown militant group claims to have killed Hizb commander Sabzar Bhat
An unknown militant group has claimed responsibility for the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Sabzar Bhat, who was slain by security personnel in a South Kashmir encounter a few days ago.
The group – which identified itself as Mujahideen Taliban-e-Kashmir – said they provided information on Bhat to security forces because “he was coming in the way of Kashmir’s Islamic struggle”.
A video that surfaced on the social media on Wednesday showed an armed masked man swearing allegiance to former HM commander Zakir Musa in his quest to “turn Kashmir into an Islamic state”. Another clip posted on Thursday showed three masked men telling both militants and Kashmiri citizens to follow Musa unless they wanted to face the same fate as Bhat. “We provided information on the militants in Arampora, and we will continue to do so if anybody comes in our way,” one of them said. “Sabzar got what he deserved, and we don’t care who becomes the new chief.”
While security agencies remain tight-lipped on this development, Musa issued neither a confirmation nor a denial. Social media users chose to brand this as a ruse of security agents to divide militant ranks.
Two days after announcing his split from the HM, Musa had called for unity among all militants in Kashmir. However, the firebrand militant also reiterated that he would always fight alongside those who believe in sharia or sahadat (establishing Islamic rule or attaining martyrdom), and not take orders from “people sitting on carpets in Pakistan”.
He also denied forming a separate militant group or joining a new organisation.