ISLAMIC STATE CLAIMS ‘PROVINCE’ IN INDIA FOR FIRST TIME AFTER CLASH IN KASHMIR
12, May 2019
Prelims level : INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOUR Mains level : Challenges to internal security
Why in News:
- Islamic State (IS) has claimed for the first time that it has established a province in India, after a clash between militants and security forces in the Kashmir region killed a militant with alleged ties to the group.
- The IS group was driven from its self-styled “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, where at one point
it controlled thousands of miles of territory.
- IS’s Amaq News Agency announced the new province, that it called “Wilayah of Hind”, also claimed IS inflicted casualties on Indian army soldiers in the town of Amshipora in the Shopian district of Kashmir. It includes taking responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombing in Sri Lanka that killed at least 253 people.
- The IS statement corresponds with a police statement that a militant called Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi was killed in an encounter in Shopian. Sofi had been involved in several militant groups in Kashmir for more than a decade before pledging allegiance to Islamic State,
- He was suspected of several grenade attacks on security forces in the region, police.
- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), alternatively called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a jihadist organisation controlling parts of Iraq and Syria, with claims to be a worldwide caliphate.
- It started out in 1999 as the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad.
- This organisation had sprung up during the insurgency in Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US-led forces.
- By 2015, it held large swathes of area in western Iraq and eastern Syria, and had over 30000 fighters. The organisation, also called, Islamic State (IS), as a caliphate, claims to have political, religious and military authority of all Muslims in the world. Almost all the Muslim countries reject this. Wherever they have control, a strict interpretation of Sharia law is observed, along with massacres and brutalities for anyone who opposes them.
- It is accused of gross human rights violation and ethnic cleansing by the UN and Amnesty International. The IS’s stated objectives are to eliminate obstacles to restoring God’s rule on earth and to defend the Umma (Muslim community) against non-believers.
- Western forces have been involved in an ongoing war with the IS. In 2017, the US military reported that the terrorist organisation now holds less than 2% of the territory it had once captured. The IS is known for its videos of beheadings and executions.
- The organisation was founded by a Jordanian named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under its previous name.
- Today, the head of the ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Many terrorist organisations in different countries have declared their allegiance to ISIS. It is also sometimes referred to as Daesh.