School dropouts behind J-K acid threat

School dropouts

The 'militant group' calling itself 'Lashkar Al Qaida' and 'Al Qaida Mujahideen' that put up handwritten posters in Shopian threatening women with acid attacks if they were found without 'purdah' or carrying a cellphone does not exist.

The police say the poster is actually the handiwork of two school dropouts with no militant links, Waseem from Hadipora village and Arshad of Pahlipora village in Shopian, who had stolen two SLR rifles from a police post in May earlier this year. Since the two belong to well-to-do families, the police are trying to find out what prompted them.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said: "They had stolen SLR rifles from a police post in May. They have written these handwritten posters and even given one to a sarpanch."

Kumar added that police had spoken to their families and hoped the two would surrender along with the rifles. Otherwise, he said, they would be arrested. "We have inputs that Waseem may have been an OGW (overground worker) earlier. Other than that, these two have no militant links."

The posters had appeared at a few places in Shopian and though the group called itself 'Lashkar Al Qaida', the stamp on the posters said 'Al Qaida Mujahideen'.

In grammatically incorrect Urdu, the posters warned panchs and sarpanchs to resign within a week or they and their family would be killed. The posters also "appealed" to people "not to send their women or girls out without veil".

It is not the first time a fake militant outfit has surfaced in Kashmir, issued serious threats to women and then disappeared.

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