Is the Al-Badr still relevant in Kashmir?

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In a successful operation, the Indian Army on Saturday gunned down an Al-Badr militant Muzzafar Ahmed. The encounter is considered to be an important one considering the organisation the slain terrorist hailed from. The Al-Badr, an Islamic militant group which was established in 1998 was proscribed by the Indian government in 2002.

Indian Army Soldiers

The organisation is active only in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and has been looking to strengthen its base in the Valley. Military intelligence officials had indicated about the presence of Ahmed at Budgam. Ahmed was plotting a strike and was trying to signal the arrival or presence of the Al-Badr an officer with the intelligence informed.

Is the Al-Badr relevant?

The group operated as the HIzb-e-Islami back in 1971, and focused its strikes on Bengalis in what was known as East Pakistan. Over a period of time it began focusing on Kashmir and also called the Valley as the 'Gateway to India'. The liberation of Muslims in the rest of India after occupying Kashmir has been the outfit's motive.

The Al-Badr was formed in June 1998 with to strengthen the freedom struggle in Kashmir through violent means. It has been critical of moderate factions in Kashmir such as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. Ahmed's motive was to get the outfit back in reckoning.
The outfit which was designated a terrorist outfit by the United States of America has made several attempts to strike in the Valley.

The outfit, which operates alone in the Valley has however not got the traction it expected. Its modules have been busted and finances have been squeezed.

In the Kashmir battle, the outfit at first operated under the Hizbul Mujahideen. However, it was the Inter-Services Intelligence which directed the outfit to operate independently in 1998. The outfit, in its rebranded format tapped foreign fighters to help in its Kashmir battle. However over a period of time, the ISI gave more preference to outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Today there are a handful of operatives in the Al-Badr and as Intelligence Bureau officials would say, the outfit is struggling to survive and be heard. On Friday yet another attempt was made by the outfit to mark its presence in the Valley. However, timely intelligence and a very quick operation led to the killing of Ahmed which thwarted yet another attempt by the outfit to revive itself.

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