On June 26, a militant named Adil Ahmed Das, affiliated with Islamic State’s Hind Province (ISHP) was found dead, while another militant Arif Bhat was found in injured condition in an orchard area in Bijbehara town of South Kashmir’s district Anantnag.
As soon as the news of the shootout was reported by local Kashmiri and mainstream Indian media, there were many speculations from all sides. Some pro-IS Telegram channels blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) while others blamed Hizbul Mujahideen or Indian security forces. Some Indian journalists blamed al-Qaeda allied Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH). While still some pro-militant Telegram channels blamed Indian security agencies for killing Adil Das and injuring Arif Bhat, claiming that Indian security agencies are remaining silent to create dispute among the militant groups in Kashmir. By Thursday, the statements started changing. Many pro-IS Telegram channels started pinning the blame exclusively on Hizbul Mujahideen while pro-Hizb channels were blaming Indian security agencies. For instance, a popular Kashmiri pro-IS channel Ahlu Tawheed Media blamed Hizbul Mujahideen for the killing of Adil Das. Another pro-AGH Telegram channel, Munasireen of AGH, also pinned the blame on Hizbul Mujahideen for the incident.
Zubair Wani of Hizbul Mujahideen and Arif Bhat & Burhan Ahmed of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) tricked ISHP militant Adil Das, who used to be in the ranks of LeT before he joined ISHP, by inviting him to meet them, telling him that they wanted to defect from Hizb/LeT to ISHP and pledge their allegiance to IS emir Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Adil Das along with three other ISHP militants met them to proceed with their supposed defection.