In a ‘major breakthrough’ to security agencies, the police have detained two youth including one from uptown Srinagar over the waving of Islamic State flag after Friday prayers here.
A senior security official told GNS that on Friday afternoon, after two masked youth appeared inside Jamia Masjid compound in Old City’s Nowhatta with a black flag of ISIS, the sleuths of security agencies in civvies, who were additionally deployed there, photographed them with high quality cameras and also followed them.
“After working hard, we managed to identify these masked youth and finally they are in our custody. It is a major breakthrough,” the official, who is privy to the investigations, said.
The youths held by police have been identified as Javid Ahmad Lone, son of Abdul Rashid Lone, resident of Baghi Nund Sang Chattabal and Hashim Ahmad Mir, son of Farooq Ahmad Mir, resident of Ikhrajpora Jawahar Nagar.
Both the youths, sources said, have been handed over to police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) for questioning. Three ISIS flags have also been recovered from Hashim Mir, the official said.
As reported earlier by GNS, hundreds of police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Operation Group (SOG) personal were deployed on Friday in and around Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal, Bhori Kadal and Gojwara who were maintaining a strict vigil over suspected persons. The security personal were also deployed in civvies at various junctions of the Old City. The security agencies had decided to intensify vigil in Old City on Friday.
“Our investigations would continue and we will see whether these boys are just sympathizers of Islamic State or beyond that,” the official told GNS, adding more arrests are expected in this regard.
The continuous appearance of Islamic State flag in Kashmir has worried security agencies while as army had repeatedly said that surfacing of ISIS flag merits highest concern.
The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as well as security agencies have so far said that ISIS has no presence in Kashmir. The Chief Minister few months ago revealed that a Kashmir youth based in Australia has reportedly joined Islamic State but added that none from Kashmir travelled to Syria or Iraq to join the group. He recently termed the youths holding ISIS flags ‘idiots’.
Before devastating floods, the police in Srinagar had questioned several youths over surfacing of ISIS flags in Kashmir. The police had also questioned a cameraperson working with a Mumbai based news channel.