Srinagar: In a clear provocation to security forces in Kashmir, militants in Kashmir have come out with a fresh video showing Indian recruits of the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba posing in the open for the first time wearing name tags.
The video was shot in the orchid gardens and forest lands of south Kashmir’s Shopian region despite a heavy crackdown by security forces, and is purportedly a desperate show of strength by the militants after Hizbul Commander Sabzar Bhat was killed by security forces on May 27.
The video was released on Tuesday, at a time when 13 jawans were injured in a series of attacks by terrorists in the Valley. The six attacks came in a span of four hours, during which the terrorists also took away four service rifles.
In the video, Lashkar commander Abu Ukasha is seen asking young Kashmiris not to join hands with security forces – a clear reference to hundreds of them appearing for the recent Army recruitment test – but instead fight for “aazadi” (freedom).
“You should not become a mukhbir (informer) of India. If you need money, we will give you enough money provided you fight against the Indian forces,” Ukasha said in the video.
Incidentally, the video is reminiscent of the 2015 group photo of Hizbul militants under Burhan Wani who was later killed in an encounter with security forces.
Sometime in late June 2015, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani released a photograph of himself seated with 10 other militants, all armed and dressed in army fatigues. The photo of the young local militants, all from South Kashmir, was meant to give a boy-next-door image to the militancy.
It was instantly downloaded on phones across the Valley and was talked about on television channels for days. That was the first time that people could connect faces to Hizbul Mujahideen militants.