Two pro-India parties floated in J&K with Army, MHA help

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by pmaitra, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Two pro-India parties floated in J&K with Army, MHA help

    Pradeep Thakur, TNN, Feb 22, 2011; Times of India

    NEW DELHI: Two new pro-India political outfits are being launched in J&K, headed by former militants and Ikhwan commanders, with the backing of the Union home ministry and the Indian Army. They are in the process of hiring office space right in front of the headquarters of Hurriyat Conference, an amalgam of pro-Pakistan separatist outfits, in Srinagar's Rajbagh locality.

    This is an innovative attempt to counter the rising influence of "freedom movement" in J&K while providing an alternate space to pro-India elements in the Valley. Separatists and pro-freedom groups have so far dominated J&K politics.

    While one outfit, with the backing of the home ministry, will be headed by former Ikhwans and ex-militant commanders Zubair-ul-Islam and Imran Rahi, the other is being launched by former militant commander from Anantnag, Liaquat Ali.

    The move has unnerved strategic planners in Pakistan who think the development may push the already marginalised pro-Pakistan group in the Valley into a corner.

    Stories have been planted in Pakistani media calling the new outfits as being launched by "traitors".

    Both Imran Rahi and Zubair Islam had earlier faced elections under the umbrella of Awami National Conference of Muzaffar Shah, son of former J&K CM Ghulam Muhammad Shah. The other outfit is to be headed by Liaquat Ali, believed to have the backing of Army. Liaquat had contested last assembly elections from Anantnag.

    Liaquat was the chief commander of a pro-Pakistan outfit and a terror in Anantnag area before he broke ranks and joined hands with the Army to fight militants in the early 1990s at the peak of militancy. Liaquat, like Zubair Islam and Imran Rahi, was among the first to join the ranks of Ikhwans and fight against militants and made the elections of 1996 possible. Kukka Parrey and Usman Majid were the others who became popular as Ikhwans and together they had raised one of the biggest outfits of surrendered militants.

    Captain Tikoo, an Army veteran, was instrumental in raising the band of Ikhwans in the 1990s and later launching them as a political party. He is again involved in helping Zubair Islam and Liaquat in raising the political outfits to counter the pro-freedom movement gaining ground. However, when contacted, Captain Tikoo feigned ignorance of the whole matter.

    Meanwhile, the government has taken many other measures to integrate the J&K youths with the mainstream. It has been on a recruitment drive in the state giving jobs to youths in the police and the security forces. The steps have already received huge response and have been a game-changer in shifting attention of youths from pelting stones to getting into formal engagements with the establishment.

    Read more: Two pro-India parties floated in J&K with Army, MHA help - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...HA-help/articleshow/7543397.cms#ixzz1EdtSAAvx
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
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  3. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Haha. I remember writing a post a few years ago on a different forum asking why there were no pro-India parties in Kashmir valley. Looks like government has finally woken up.
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    About time. Time to get these fu cking mullahs out of there.

    I say, we form a band of counter-insurgents, formed exclusively of these ikhwans, and in co-ordination with the Army, root these mullah fu cks out.
     
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    J&K: Ikhwanis offer to fight Pak in case of war

    J&K: Ikhwanis offer to fight Pak in case of war

    Press Trust of India
    Posted: Jun 17, 2002; Expressindia


    It was a proud day for the Ikhwanis, the counter-insurgent groups in the Valley. Two of their colleagues, Mohammad Amin Pandit and Mohammad Shaban Hajam, were being felicitated by authorities at the Khanabal at an army camp for their bravery.

    On May 27, militants launched a grenade attack at the crowded Anantnag bus stand. Pandit and Hajam, immediately warned the people take cover and to lie down. The timely warning prevented the innocent citizens from becoming victims of yet another militant attack.

    However, despite their commitment to root out militancy in the Valley and support to the security forces, Ikhwanis say they are being neglected by the Government. In the event of a war, Ikhwanis say, they are even ready to face the enemy along the borders in the defence of the country.

    "We are ready to fight Pakistani army at the frontline in case of a war, if given a chance," said the Ikhwanis who had gathered in Khanabal at an army camp.

    The Ikhwanis—almost all former ultras trained in handling arms across the border—are unequivocal in condemning Pakistan for death and destruction in the Valley for the past 13 years. Islamabad needed to be taught a lesson so that peace and normalcy return to Kashmir, they say.


    "We want the people of the Valley to live in peace, and to achieve that goal, we will continue to help the army to end militancy, " Javid, a former Hizbul militant, said. Javid says he has been assisting the army for the past six years and had taken part in over 50 successful operations against militants in various parts of the Anantnag district.

    "I have not visited my home for all these years and my family has suffered immensely," Javid says. His parents were threatened several times and even had to shell out money to the militants to save them, he adds.

    Another Ikhwani, who identified himself as Fayaz, said they were staying in three camps in Anantnag along with their families. "Our families have become isolated in the society and remained confined to the four walls of the camps," he says.

    The Ikhwanis, numbering about 4,000 members and active in the Valley, deny allegations of atrocities on civilians. They claim it is a "propaganda by our enemies who had been threatened by our role in anti-militant operations". "The militants are afraid of us and are spreading rumours of harassment and atrocities to tarnish our image," they say.

    Commending the Ikhwanis for their role in their fight against militancy, Commander of First Sector Rashtriya Rifles, Brig Bikram Singh says the counter-insurgents were working shoulder-to-shoulder with the security forces.

    "They are brave boys and have concern for the people who have been facing violence for such a long period," Singh says. He hopes that the counter-insurgents would continue to remain committed to the cause of eliminating the gun-culture.

    Source: http://www.expressindia.com/news/fullstory.php?newsid=11684

    P.S.: This is old news. This article provides an idea about the Ikhwanis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Army’s honeymoon with Ikhwanis over

    Army’s honeymoon with Ikhwanis over

    Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times
    New Delhi, May 12, 2010


    The Army’s love affair with ikhwanis or surrendered terrorists inducted into its ranks appears to have turned sour. Plans to raise more units composed of surrendered terrorists have been shelved, five years after the Army began inducting them as soldiers in Kashmir. Senior officers in the Army Headquarters said the surrendered terrorists-turned-soldiers lacked discipline and were indulging in settling personal scores and intimidation of locals.

    Ikhwanis, however, were not always the Army’s bad boys.

    The Army brass acknowledged they had facilitated several successful counter-terrorism operations in the Valley by providing valuable leads. The 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) JAKLI, raised in 2004-05 with surrendered terrorists at its core, has eliminated around 300 terrorists since its inception. The tally, officers agree, is respectable even when compared to results produced by regular infantry units.

    A senior officer said, “The experiment has produced mixed results. We cannot let the rogue elements alienate the local population and dent the Army’s image. No new ikhwani units are in the pipeline.” Surrendered terrorists are regularly assigned to different units to strengthen intelligence gathering as they have knowledge of the terrain and possible terrorist movement.

    A Colonel serving in the Valley said, “The sore point is they haven’t been able to shake off the gun culture. They are known to settle personal scores and intimidate locals.”

    The Army may halting this experiment but there’s no move to dump the surrendered terrorists within its ranks. Another officer said, “We have to protect them from terrorists who look at them as betrayers. If we let them go, they will be eliminated.”

    The Army has acknowledged the valour and contribution of the ikhwanis with military decorations. The awards won by the 162 Infantry Battalion include a Shaurya Chakra, four Sena Medals, one Vishisht Seva Medal, 13 commendation cards from the Army chief and 23 commendation cards from the Northern Army commander.

    Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Army-s-honeymoon-with-Ikhwanis-over/Article1-542406.aspx

    P.S.: This is old news. This article provides an idea about the Ikhwanis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    A beleaguered force

    A beleaguered force

    Members of the Jammu and Kashmir Ikhwan, the counter-terrorist militia, have become targets of terrorism and political hostility and victims of official apathy.

    PRAVEEN SWAMI
    in Srinagar
    Vol. 16 :: No. 03 :: Jan. 30 - Feb. 12, 1999; Frontline, The Hindu


    A PET monkey guards the entrance to Prem Raj Nivas, a sprawling bungalow in old-city Anantnag, and snarls at visitors with mock aggression. However, inside the bungalow, there is nothing faux about the assault rifles hidden under warm winter pherans and peeking out from sandbagged windows. At Prem Raj Nivas, the New Year was celebrated with rocket and automatic weapons fire.

    Once the stately home of a Kashmiri Pandit family, which left it in 1990 after receiving threats from terrorists, Prem Raj Nivas now houses over a dozen members of the counter-terrorist Jammu and Kashmir Ikhwan militia and their families. The Ikhwan militia was instrumental in ending the Hizbul Mujahideen's reign of terror in the south Kashmir town five years ago. However, with terrorist attacks against militia members increasing during the past year, Prem Raj Nivas has become not so much a home as a fortress. Forty-nine Ikhwan militia members were killed in 1998, largely in ambushes or during attacks on their homes. Today, members of the Ikhwan militia, who have become targets of terrorism and political hostility and victims of official apathy, are uncertain about how much longer they can hold out.

    [​IMG]
    Abdul Rahman, an Ikhwan member, with his wife and daughter outside Prem Raj Nivas in Anantnag.

    ABDUL RAHMAN, an Ikhwan member, lives in Prem Raj Nivas along with his wife Mastnaz and their infant daughter. He said that he left the Hizbul Mujahideen in 1995 because he was disgusted with the mindless violence unleashed in Jammu and Kashmir by the far-right organisation. Rahman paid the price for his decision: the Hizbul Mujahideen set fire to his home in Watpora. Rahman and his younger brother were forced to leave their six-kanal farm in Watpora and move to Anantnag. They have still not received the mandatory compensation from the Government. Rahman fought back for four years and earned a reputation as one of the best counter-terrorist soldiers. In 1995, he was instrumental in killing three Hizbul Mujahideen cadres at Kokernag; on Christmas day last year he assisted a Rashtriya Rifles operation at Watnara, in which another terrorist was killed. However, Rahman has gained nothing for his efforts. Promised jobs and rehabilitation packages have still not materialised. Even the Rs.1,500 that is supposed to be paid to the Special Police Officers (SPOs) - a category that has been created in the Jammu and Kashmir Police Department to benefit individuals who cannot be formally employed in the police force - has not been paid for four months now because of the State's cash crunch.

    Mastnaz is bitter about the world she lives in. "When we married three years ago, we decided to do so believing that my husband would soon have a secure job in some government agency or would get loans to start a business. Ministers from Delhi used to come and make promises every other day. But today we have nothing. We do not even have money to celebrate Eid." "But," she added, "perhaps I should be grateful for the fact that at least we are alive." Rahman is, however, less certain. "Maybe I should have just stayed on with the Hizbul Mujahideen. I would have been dead, but my family would have been richer than it is now, and we would have been living on our land. And I wouldn't have had the welfare of a wife and a daughter to worry about."

    Farooq Ahmad Magray does not have a family to worry about, but he voices similar sentiments. The one-time Harkat ul-Ansar member fought in the autumn encounter at Ahgam village last year in which 18 terrorists were killed. He said: "I could have been shot there just like the soldiers... The soldiers will get medals and promotions and become heroes, but I don't even get my SPO payment. It is a joke, except I can't bring myself to laugh about it." Losses suffered by the Ikhwan members, Magray said, have never been similarly compensated. As in the case of many Ikhwan members, Magray's family members too had to flee their village in the face of terrorist reprisals. Their house was vandalised. One brother joined the Ikhwan, while a second, who had a job, moved to a town with their parents. Magray's fourth brother, who is physically handicapped, lives alone in the village. "He was beaten up a couple of times by the Hizbul Mujahideen there," Magray said, "but most of the time he is left alone. He has to fend for himself because none of us is in a position to look after him."

    [​IMG]
    Ikhwan members in Anantnag. The Ikhwan militia was instrumental in ending the Hizbul Mujahideen's reign of terror in the south Kashmir town five years ago.

    Jammu and Kashmir Ikhwan battalion commander Jehangir Khan is candid about what official neglect of his organisation has led to. "I am not supposed to say this," he said, "but my boys take what they can get from wherever they can get. They take five rupees from push-carts and a little more from autorickshaw drivers and truck owners... It is very bad for discipline, but I cannot tell the boys not to do it until I can offer them a decent pay."

    However, not all Ikhwan enterprises are innocuous. There are numerous allegations about Ikhwan members indulging in illegal timber trade and running drugs. One of the principal allegations against the Ikhwan is that it is involved in killings, appropriation of properties and extortion from businesses owned by members of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the religious organisation which sponsors the Hizbul Mujahideen.

    Jehangir Khan appears to be unrepentant. "I retired from the Army and bought a truck, which I was running till 1990," he said. "I entered into a deal with the Al-Umar organisation, which protected my business even after the violence began. But in 1991 I was kidnapped by the Hizbul Mujahideen because they thought that I was an informer since I had been a soldier earlier. In 1992, they killed my son and burnt my truck. Nobody showed me any mercy or compensated me for my losses. Nobody has the right to preach to me."

    [​IMG]
    Jammu and Kashmir Ikhwan battalion commander Jehangir Khan (in the foreground) heading for Gruri village in a boat.

    Jehangir Khan's sentiments find wide acceptance. Gruri village, which was cut off from the rest of Anantnag when the bridge connecting it with the highway was burnt down by terrorists, is perhaps best described as an Ikhwan village. None of the Ikhwan members here was forced to leave his land, for they defected en masse from their respective terrorist groups in 1995 and defended Gruri. Jamaat-e-Islami members and supporters were driven out of the village. Like most Kashmir villages, this village too is in an abysmal condition. Its lanes turn to slush after the smallest downpour, there is no running water, and no electricity flows through its supply lines.

    If the Ikhwan is making money, there is very little evidence of it in the village. The 30-odd Ikhwan members in Gruri rely on the local unit of the Rashtriya Rifles for hand-outs of rice and pulses. Like militia members elsewhere, the group in Gruri has been severely hit by the non-payment of SPO dues. "You can't live on rice and dal," Munir Khan, the local Ikhwan commander, said. "You might say that we have to provide for our own kababs." Some money does come in the form of rewards received after successful anti-terrorist operations or occasional Central intelligence fund transfers. However, Ikhwan members say that these are no substitute for a secure rehabilitation programme. Much of the reward money is ploughed back into contingency funds to provide for the families of members who have been killed, since state compensation is invariably late and, if the Ikhwan is to be believed, at times does not come at all.

    Gruri can be reached only by boat now; the bridge, which is being rebuilt, is guarded by Ikhwan cadres from a sandbag bunker since the threat from terrorists is ever-present. (In the first week of January, two foreign mercenaries and two Kashmir-based terrorists were shot dead at the nearby Nowbugh village.) Terrorists mount sporadic attacks on the Ikhwan bunkers that have been built in homes situated at vantage points in the village. Because of the ever-present threat, Ikhwan members are unable to cultivate their land even though they have managed to hang on to it. Munir Khan said: "How can I till my field with ten guards standing around me? We created the Ikhwan to bring peace. But there is no sign of peace yet, and I don't think there will be any soon."

    IKHWAN members are angry about the political hostility that is directed at them. Congress(I) Member of Parliament and former Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter and Bijbehara MLA Mehbooba Sayeed are central targets of their ire. Both have sought to consolidate anti-National Conference (N.C.) sentiment with unconcealed overtures to the Jamaat-e-Islami, attacking militia groups in particular for "terrorising" the organisation. Three months ago, when Rashtriya Rifles jawans surrounded a group of terrorists at Shalu Galu village, the terrorists offered to surrender if Mehbooba Sayeed came in person and guaranteed their security. This provoked more than a little bitterness among the Army and the Ikhwan.

    However, the real reason for the political hostility towards the Ikhwan go deeper. For one, the N.C. itself has sought to disassociate itself from the militia groups, whose anti-terrorist work and alleged forced extortion invariably bring them into conflict with ordinary people. "We are a convenient punching bag," said the Ikhwan's overall commander, Liaqat Khan. "We can be blamed for everything that goes wrong so that the Government doesn't have to take responsibility for anything." Moreover, the Ikhwan earned the N.C.'s wrath by fielding its own candidates against the ruling party in all the elections since the crucial 1996 Lok Sabha elections.

    There has been a lack of official alacrity in honouring commitments made to groups that have been instrumental in decisively shifting the balance of power in the Kashmir region. In all fairness, the issues are complicated. Government officials point out that it is not just the Ikhwan and other militia groups that do not receive compensation on time. Bureaucratic incompetence and the State's long-standing problem of cash crunch mean that there is little money to be handed out in the first place. Besides, the State Police Department, which was supposed to induct surrendered terrorists into its ranks, has refused to do so, fearing indiscipline. Moreover, few Ikhwan members want jobs in Central agencies such as the Central Reserve Police Force since such jobs are transferable; they do not want their families left behind, unprotected.

    [​IMG]
    Ikhwan members keep watch from a bunker in Gruri.

    Solutions have to be found, but few people appear to be serious about looking for them. One plausible reason for this inertia is the fact that despite polemical threats, militia members understand that they have no option but to continue living as they are. Jehangir Khan said: "We cannot return to the terrorist groups because they will slaughter us. And we cannot run away since we do not have the money to do so." Many Ikhwan leaders, including the high-profile Mohammad Yusuf 'Kuka' Parrey, expected the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition Government to bring about changes, only to discover the bitter reality after several rounds of talks. Others such as MLC Javed Shah, who backed the N.C., have similar views. "No one gives a damn about us," he said. "All the promises made to us were just so much hot air."

    "He is just like us," Rahman said of the pet monkey. "He guards people, or at least he thinks he is doing so, and he gets a few scraps of food for his efforts. One day, he will grow old and die and we will get another monkey and no one will remember him."

    Source: http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1603/16030410.htm

    P.S.: This is old news. This article provides an idea about the Ikhwanis and their current (i.e. when this report was written) plight.
     
  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Ikhwanis prepare for new role

    Ikhwanis prepare for new role

    KS Correspondent
    April 2002 Issue
    KS - Kashmir Sentinel


    JAMMU, Apr 1: Soon after Assembly Elections of 1996, a counter-insurgent leader, compared role of counter-insurgents called Ikhwanis in local parlance to that of a ROP- Road Opening Party for conducting elections. The bitterness reflected in this comment was a reaction to the disowning of these people by the Indian state. This process was complete by 1998. The lack of direction for these groups which had played stellar role in forcing hard-core terrorist groups on the run, made Ikhwan leaders try their political ambitious individually. Some joined NC or Congress, while others probed BJP.

    These Ikhwanis started their activities first as sources for the security forces and then as counter-guerrilla groups. This idea conceived by Mr Jagmohan was put into implementation by Mr G.C. Saxena while Gen. Krishna Rao reaped the credit for its success. Despite total apathy at political level, the Army continued its liaison with these groups for collecting information needed for CI operation, and in turn providing security to them.

    Abandonment of counter-insurgent groups by the government was followed by reprisal killings of Ikhwanis by terrorists. Around four hundred Ikhwanis and their family members have been killed since 1998. During the past four months of unilateral. Cease-fire, more than a hundred Ikhwanis have been killed by Jehaid groups. Many Ikhwanis joined the militants again, while some manage their safety by living in security fortifications.

    Last month three top leaders of a JKAC, an Ikhwani group were called for some meeting with Home ministry officials. It was immediately after the humiliation during the Panchayat elections, when there were hardly any candidates for contesting the elections. Polls had to be postponed in three districts. Fake nomination forms had invited criticism in the media.

    After the meeting with Home Ministry officials, the counter-insurgency groups claimed that they have entered into an alliance to gain relevance in the present fluid political scenario. These groups are also activating their armed wings to regain initiative in view of the emergence of a fresh wave of militancy sweeping Kashmir valley.

    What exactly is the new brief to the Ikhwanis remains a matter of speculation? one report said that the new role envisaged for Ikhwanis is an outcome of Indo-Israeli Cooperation on devising strategy to counter suicide attacks by Lashkar terrorists. Another report says that Home Ministry has realised, of late the role played by these groups. With ground-level situation worsening in Valley, there is no other option than to revive Ikhwan groups. These groups serve as sort of VDCs for Kashmir valley. Yet another version is that the revival is aimed at making future electoral process successful. As Pant dialogue is essentially primed to seek participation of Hurriyat in power politics through elections, reviving these groups comes handy. By delivering effective blows to militant groups, separatist groups yearning for political power would be more forthcoming. Secondly, the participation of Ikhwan groups in electoral process would invest elections with greater legitimacy. And lastly, the notching of a few seats by Ikhwanis, the only group which seeks fuller integration would convey a different message.

    Some Hurriyat sections accuse Dr Abdullah for reviving, these groups to curb anti-NC groups during elections. They point to recent bonhomie between Kuka Parrey and Dr Abdullah. Out of different Ikhwan groups, the JK Awami Conference, headed by Liaqat Ali (Bilal Hyder) has across the board respectability. It, unlike other groups did not indulge in extortions, vendetta killings and has a definite political perspective free from opportunistic trappings. Recently, it organised a one day convention at TRC, Jammu.

    At the convention, Awami Conference leaders deplored the double standards of the governments at the Centre and criticized the role of both NC and the Hurriyat. Mr Liaqat Ali, charged Centre for patronizing those leaders who are responsible for making Kashmir a living hell. He questioned the rationale for holding dialogue with Hurriyat. About NC, Mr Liaqat said it was Dr Abdullah who sent the Kashmiri youth for arms training to Pakistan. On Autonomy demand raised by NC, the Awami Conference President remarked that it was a drama to befool the people. Mr Ali added that Farooq government came to power through rigging and when Hurriyat had boycotted elections. Demanding free and fair elections, Mr Ali declared that selfish, short-sighted and greedy politicians had to be removed from political scenario of Kashmir as an important step to find lasting peace there.

    Mr Usman Majeed, vice-president of JKAC lamented that elections of 1996 was an immature step that led to the spread of militancy to all the districts of Jammu.

    Source: http://www.panunkashmir.org/kashmirsentinel/apr2002/5.html

    P.S.: This is an old article. This article provides an idea about the Ikhwanis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Seriously man when did the govt grow brains? Masterstroke. I hope this is nurtured well and they completely marginalize the Hurriyat and the rabids in it.
     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^ My concern is that GoI should not abandon these Ikhwanis and leave them and their families unprotected at the mercy of the pro-Pakistan elements. Some of the articles I have already posted highlight that.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The whole issue in Kashmir is how to spin money for themselves and lord it over all the hoi polloi, be it the political parties, Hurriyat or the Ikhwanis.

    Even terrorist leaders pilfer the money that is sent from Pakistan as the radio intercepts reveal.

    Ikhwanis have been a potent force to take on the terrorists and were quite effective and very dedicated. However, the money they got from the Govt was chickenfeed for the risks they took and so they started to become extortionists and soon got to be hated. They were always the target of the terrorists. I have known Kuka Parray, the leader of the Ikhwanis, who was killed and some others.

    [​IMG]

    Kuka Parray

    If I am not mistaken they already had a political party - the Awami League.
     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^ Ray Sir,

    It is great to know that you had known Kuka Parray.

    Unless you are obligated not to reveal secrets that might endanger India's national security, please share with us all you know about Kuka Parray and the Ikhwanis.

    Thanks.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Kukka Parry was a singer and he used to sing during Kashmiri weddings as per customs before he became a terrorist.

    Then he changed his allegiance and became an Ikhwani.

    He headed the Northern Kashmir Ikhwani and there was another who was the Commander of the Southern Ikhwanis.

    Kuka Parray's deputy was the person who abducted Mufti Md, the then Union Home Minister's, daughter.

    Good chaps to know but then they were a dangerous lot!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

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