October 18, 2017

ISIS Shrouds at Militants’ Funerals – is the Valley going Radical ?

Of late it is being seen that the flag shrouds on the militants’ funeral have changed colour from the usual Pakistani flag to the black flag with the ISIS insignia. This is now a very serious trend that needs to be taken into account by the J&K authorities, because if this is the trend then things can only be expected to turn for the worse in the Valley. In the last three days, the bodies of two militants from Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad have been draped in black shrouds bearing the insignia of the Islamic State or ISIS rather than the Pakistani flag which is normally used by these outfits. The body of slain militant Mukhtar Ahmad Lone alias Bite Moulvi was draped in an ISIS flag in Tral on Sunday while being taken for Namaz-e-Janaza, the last rites. Hundreds of supporters joined the funeral procession. Lone was one of the three militants killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces near their hideout in Satoora hills of Tral in Pulwama district. Like the current crop of militants, he had joined militant ranks a month ago. On Friday, the body of Sajjad Gilkar, a militant belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen, was also wrapped in a black ISIS flag in downtown Srinagar, an area known for its pro-Pakistani posture. It was a departure of sorts from the earlier funerals of militants killed in encounters or civilians killed in cross-fire where Pakistani flags were used as shrouds. It was not clear who draped Gilkar’s body in the black cloth as his family maintained they had not planned the funeral to be done this way. It is believed that since popular commander Zakir Musa moved away from the Hizbul Mujahideen to float a yet-unknown outfit, the young crop of militants have started to gravitate towards him. Musa had, in a series of audio messages released to the media, said that his fight is not limited to win “azadi for Kashmiris” but to wage a “larger battle for Islam and Caliphate”.

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Senior editor with Himsamachar

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