‘ISIS flags’ in Kashmir are matter of concern for Army

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

The army on Friday said the surfacing of ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flags’ during street protests and clashes are getting highest concern from the force.

Talking to media persons here, the GOC 15 Chinar Corps, Lt Gen Subrata Saha, said: “All I can say is in a forum like this, it deserves and is getting the highest security concerns from all of us.”

Since last month, the youths in downtown Srinagar have displayed the ‘black flags of Al Qaeda inspired group ISIS’, during pro-Palestine and anti-India protests and clashes.

The ISIS, also called as ‘Islamic State (IS) has been making headlines since it seized large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and announced ‘Caliphate’ with Abu Bakr-al Bagdadi as its leader or ‘Caliph’.

On July 11, Friday, the ‘ISIS flag’ made debut in Kashmir during a pro-Palestine protest outside Central Jamia Masjid in downtown city. Since then, the flags have been displayed at least five times including once in city centre Lal Chowk during pro-Palestine protest by students.

On Eid day, besides ‘ISIS flags’, the ‘flags of Al Qaeda and Taliban’ were waved by youth in Eidgah area of old city during clashes with police and paramilitary.

At several places in Srinagar, the pro-ISIS graffiti have appeared. In Batamaloo neighbourhood of Srinagar, there is a graffiti, which reads: ‘Welcome ISIS’.

A defence official said there is no presence of Al Qaeda, ISIS or Taliban in Kashmir. “But many youth in Kashmir are embracing their ideology. A large number of youths are getting radicalized.”

Last week, the Northern Command General, also expressed similar concern over surfacing of ‘ISIS flags’ in Kashmir and said: “such things bother us.”

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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