‘The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has claimed for the first time that it has established a “province” in India, a claim that police in India-administered Kashmir have described as “pure propaganda”
The ISIL claim followed a clash between armed rebels and security forces in the disputed Kashmir region in which a fighter with alleged ties to the group was killed on Friday.
Late on Friday, ISIL’s Amaq News Agency said in a statement that it called the new province “Wilayah of Hind”, and also claimed the group inflicted casualties on Indian army soldiers in the town of Amshipora in India-administered Kashmir’s Shopian district.
The ISIL statement corresponded with an Indian police statement on Friday that an armed rebel called Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi was killed in an encounter in Shopian, Reuters news agency reported on Saturday.
“This is pure propaganda. The militancy part of the ISIL is over in Kashmir completely. However, the ideological inclination is there to some extent,” a senior police official in India-administered Kashmir told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity.
The police officer added that Sofi was the last ISIL fighter in Kashmir. “One more was there but he joined another armed group,” he said.