Kashmiri held on 'IS links' in UAE likely to be freed

Kashmiri held on 'IS links' in UAE likely to be freed

Jammu and Kashmir Police is likely to release Irfan Zargar, who had been detained by the Dubai authorities on suspicion of being an Islamic State (IS) sympathiser and then handed over to NIA for further questioning.

36-year-old Zarger, a resident of Chattatabal area of the old city of Srinagar was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by the UAE authorities on August 14 for allegedly showing active support to IS activities in Syria on social media. He was handed over to the NIA after the intervention of the Indian consulate general in Dubai.

Later the NIA interrogated him for five days before handing him over to Jammu and Kashmir police. Police sources said nothing adverse has been found against Zarger during questioning by the NIA and J&K police. “There is also nothing adverse against him in police records in Srinagar,” they said.

According to Zarger’s family, they had been called to Joint Interrogation Center, Jammu where is detained. Zarger, an engineer, shifted to Dubai soon after the 2014 floods where he got a job in a telecom company. In 2017 he visited his home for celebrating Eid ul Fitr and went back after spending one month in Kashmir, they said.

His uncle Nazir Ahmad said that Zarger went missing from Dubai on 28 April, 2018 and after two days his cousin brother Aamanullah who is working in Dubai informed his family members telephonically about it.

While Central government has been maintaining that there is no presence of ISIS in the Valley, state police chief Shesh Pal Vaid had for the first time officially confirmed of any presence of IS militant in Kashmir after security forces killed four Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) militants in a gun battle in Srigufwara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on June 22.

In May 2017, ISIS on its website had said that its Indian affiliate, ‘Ansar Gazwatul Hind’ was being headed by Zakir Musa, who quit indigenous Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit earlier. Sources said eight to ten local militants are affiliated with ISJK.

Zargar is the third Kashmiri to have been deported in recent times after being accused of sympathising with the ISIS. Before him, Srinagar-resident Afshan Parvaiz was deported from Ankara on May 25 while another young man named Parvaiz was deported from Tehran on March 23.

Another youth from Ganderbal, Azhar ul Islam, was deported from the UAE last year for being an alleged ISIS sympathiser.

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