The Hizbul Mujahideen has allegedly threatened leaders in the Jammu region, including Union minister Jitendra Singh, to “get ready to face dire consequences” if they did not stay away from political activities, according to police.
The threat has been issued through a letter written in Urdu on the proscribed terror group’s letterhead, officials said.
Police said the letter was addressed to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)’s Congress vice-president and former minister, Raman Bhalla. “It was delivered at the Congress office in Shahidi Chowk via post on Saturday afternoon,” said Anayat Ali, station house officer (SHO), Pir Mitha police station, Jammu.
The two-page letter was signed by a self-styled divisional commander of the Hizbul. Apart from Singh, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, it mentioned 17 senior politicians of national and regional parties, including J&K Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Ravinder Raina, National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan leader Choudhary Lal Singh, and other former ministers, legislators as well as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries.
“We warn you to renounce politics and support our cause for freedom otherwise death warrants have been issued against you. No security cover will safeguard you from us,” the letter read.
A case under sections 121-A (waging war against the government of India) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and sections 13 (unlawful activity), 16 and 18 (terrorist act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act (UAPAA), 2019, has been registered, Ali said.
The Hizbul also referred to the killing of public representatives in the letter. “Anyone who is on our target will be gunned down in their homes. This work has already been started. The people who can attack Parliament or Red Fort, can’t they kill you?” the letter read.
Congress sarpanch Ajay Pandita and BJP leader Waseem Bari were gunned down in the Kashmir Valley in June and July, respectively.
Ravinder Sharma, a Congress spokesperson and a former member of J&K legislative council, said the letter was delivered at the party office by post on Saturday afternoon.
However, a BJP leader, who did not want to be named, said the letter could be a prank, but he admitted that leaders from his party face threat from terrorists.