(This was originally posted in India Today by Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu)
National Investigation Agency (NIA) Director General (DG) Kuldiep Singh on Tuesday said that after abrogation of Article 370, there has been a marked improvement in the situation in Kashmir. The NIA DG said this while talking about the recent arrest of three persons with links to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a rise in number of terror-related killings in Kashmir recently. “Suddenly there is a rising number of civilian killings. IEDs and drones are being sent from across the border,” Kuldiep Singh said.
The NIA on Sunday arrested three people over their alleged association with the banned terror organization ISIS. The agency conducted searches at 16 locations across Kashmir and arrested Tawheed Latief, Suhail Ahmad and Afshan Parvez, all residents of Srinagar. The agency said they had received information that banned ISIS has hatched a conspiracy to radicalise and recruit impressionable Muslim youths in India to wage violent jihad in J&K and other major cities.
Their plan was to execute their nefarious design which involves supplementing their on-ground terror financing activities with a cyberspace campaign. ISIS terrorists operating from various conflict zones, along with their cadres in India, have created a network by assuming pseudo-online identities wherein their propaganda material is disseminated for radicalizing and recruiting members, the NIA had said earlier.
Earlier this year, the agency had arrested four accused in this connection after registering a case. Searches in the case on Sunday led to the recovery and seizure of incriminating documents and digital devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, hard disks etc. “We had information about links with large terror networks like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), and their affiliates Al Badr, The Resistance Front (TRF), People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF), Mujahideen Gazwatul Hind (MGH), etc, but not a single case where we could go and arrest them. This case helped us nab them,” Kuldiep Singh said on Tuesday.
The investigation has further revealed that the arrested accused were associated with Pakistan and Afghanistan-based foreign ISIS operatives and certain other associates of the arrested accused based in Kashmir are involved in on-ground and online activities of ISIS, including in content creation and translation of India-centric propaganda magazine ‘Voice of Hind’. “The NIA is trying to act on Intelligence Bureau (IB) inputs. CRPF and J&K Police are doing its work. Two operations are taking place simultaneously. The agency will take up the issue of minorities killing after the Pakistan link emerges,” Kuldiep Singh said.