At least two policemen were killed and 12 others suffered injuries on Monday after terrorists attacked a bus carrying Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police personnel on the outskirts of Srinagar. The day coincided with the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Parliament attack.
The bus came under fire from terrorists in Zewan in the Pantha Chowk area, according to police officials.
The deceased included an assistant sub-inspector of the armed police. The area has been cordoned off and a search operation launched to track down the assailants.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have now named the little-known terror outfit -- ‘Kashmir Tigers’ -- as the group responsible for carrying out the biggest attack on the security force personnel since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
According to India TV, the outfit claimed that the attack and killing of the police personnel was a tribute to "all the martyrs of the Kashmir resistance".
"The strike is an answer to for the occupational regime and their stooges for the atrocities they were carrying against innocent civilians", the statement said, adding that it was not the final attack.
Who Are The Kashmir Tigers?
The recently-formed terror group is said to be an off-shoot of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). According to various reports, the group first came to the forefront in January, early this year, when its founder and a resident of south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Mufti Altaf alias Abu Jar, had shared a video online to announce the formation of the group.
As per reports, Altaf had joined the JeM in September last year but it is not clear whether he had received the approval of Jaish’s head to form his own group.
Kashmiri Tigers is one of the several terror outfits that have cropped up in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. Other names include -- the Resistance Front (TRF) and People Against Fascist Forces (PAFF), the United Liberation Front and so on.
The TRF and the PAFF are reportedly assigned to Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish, as per a report by the Indian Express.
What Does The Name Suggest?
It is said that the new kind of nomenclature of the military groups is an attempt to make it appear more “secular” than “religion” and in the process portray militancy as indigenous in Kashmir.
Unlike names such as Lakshar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaisha-e-Mohammad denoting a religious connotation, Kashmir Tigers appear to be more secular in nature.
Another reason for an alteration in the name could be Pakistan’s attempt of averting FATF’s (Financial Attention Task Force) attention from them. “Pakistan is under pressure to increase the pitch of militancy in J&K but can’t ignore the FATF,” said an officer to the Indian Express.
The incident reported from Zewan on Monday is the first-claimed terror attack by the Kashmir Tigers.
(with inputs from PTI)