Rattled by Army offensive, Hizbul releases photo of ‘latest batch’ of ‘trainees’ in PoK
Just four days after the security forces neutralised eight Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Kashmir, including their commander Sabzar Bhat, a photograph has surfaced that shows the latest of recruits of the Pakistan-sponsored terror outfit.
The photograph, posted by news agency ANI, shows 27 “terror trainees” posing in army fatigue. Described as the “latest batch of Hizbul Mujahideen trainees at a camp in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir”.
The photo has surfaced just days after Sabzar Bhat, the successor of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in the Kashmir Valley, along with seven other militants was gunned down in an encounter with the security forces in south Kashmir’s Tral area on Saturday.
It is believed that the photograph of the “terror trainees” has been circulated in an attempt to boost up the morale of the militants, who are finding it difficult to endure the Indian Army’s all-out offensive.
Over the past few years, Hizbul has been challenging security forces by posting provocative group photos and videos on social media, with the recruits flaunting their weapons.
Last year, Hizbul had released a photograph of its 11 terrorists, including their commander in Kashmir Burhan Wani. His killing by the security forces had led to violent clashes in the Valley, with consecutive curfew imposed for as along as two months. The clashes also resulted in 90 deaths and over 15,000 people injured.
Army Chief Bipin Rawat has said that the infiltration attempts by terrorists from across the border are likely to spike with the melting of snow and opening of passes.
A similar photograph circulated by the terror outfit around two years ago showed 11 such militants posing with guns at some unknown location. Nine of them, including Burhan Wani have been neutralised by the Indian Army, one has surrendered and one is still alive.