New Delhi: The Islamic State allegedly set up a new province in India known as ‘Wilayah of Hind’.  The announcement was made by IS’s Amaq News Agency on Friday in the aftermath of a clash between the militants and security forces in Kashmir. The attack claimed the life of a militant belonging to the IS group.

Police on Friday said that the militant who was killed in the Shopian encounter has been identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi. Meanwhile, the IS militants had also killed some Indian army soldiers during an encounter in the town of Amshipora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district. “According to the police records, Ishfaq had a long history of terror crime records and was initially affiliated with the proscribed terror outfit Harkatul Mujahideen. He along with his other terrorist associates were involved in a series of terror crimes, including grenade attacks on CRPF bunker at Safa Kadal, Soura and Police Station Khanyar,” said a police spokesperson. Ishfaq, who was arrested earlier, had got recycled and joined the terror ranks in 2018 after being released on bail, the spokesman added.

Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intel Group which keeps a track on Islamic extremists was quoted by Reuters as saying, “The establishment of a ‘province’ in a region where it has nothing resembling actual governance is absurd, but it should not be written off.”

As per the report, Katz added, “The world may roll its eyes at these developments, but to jihadists in these vulnerable regions, these are significant gestures to help lay the groundwork in rebuilding the map of the IS ‘caliphate’.”

Meanwhile, a Srinagar-based Chinar Corps in a tweet on its official handle said, “Targeting terrorist leadership towards #TerrorismFreeKashmir. Sustained efforts successful. Eliminated Ishfaq Sofi of ISJK involved in scores of terrorism-related activities.”

(With agency inputs)