On Friday, militant group Hizbul Mujahideen held a silent march, and Hizb flags were hoisted near Jamia Masjid and in various parts of downtown Sringar, the stronghold of moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
The flags carried the picture of the new Hizb commander, Burhan Wani, who has created a flutter with his videos and messages on social media. Hizb flags previously used to carry the picture of Syed Salahuddin. Senior police officers said that it was a matter of concern that the group is trying to show its presence in Srinagar, that too in Farooq’s strongholds.
Farooq and other moderate Hurriyat leaders already have Z-category security. They were given the protection after they started talks with New Delhi in 2002. Local newspapers reported that the government will soon give Farooq Z+ security, in the light of fresh inputs of threats to his life. Senior security and intelligence officials confirmed that they have intercepted messages in which his name has figured.
Hizb is silently making a new ring of leadership in the Kashmir Valley and has been recruiting youngsters, especially in South Kashmir, said a senior security officer. He said that the group is using Burhan Wani as its new face in the Kashmir Valley and is trying to bring down the curtains on Salahuddin’s leadership.
Hundreds of youth have joined Hizb and Lashkar in the recent past. Most of them are educated and have tried to build up the outfit in cyberspace. “These new rings of militancy are against moderate Hurriyat and other leaders who want talks with New Delhi,” a senior police officer said.