A String of Rebel Attacks
This was the latest in a string of deadly attacks on members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The rebel group that is believed to be the perpetrators of the most recent attack are also responsible for the deaths of a top Bharatiya Janata Party politician and his father and brother.
Rebel terrorists have been fighting the central government in Kashmir for decades, as the territory is currently under divided control. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in its entirety, but it appears that only one side has utilized terrorist tactics to try to gain control. Muslims in the country support the rebels with the goal of either uniting the territory under Pakistani rule or designating Kashmir as its own independent country.
Now the rebels have found a new tactic, appealing to western “liberals” by calling themselves ANTIFA.
Politician Murdered in the Streets
Rakesh Pandita, a leader within the Bharatiya Janata Party, was shot while visiting his friend in the southern town of Tral. While Pandita was supposed to be accompanied by two police guards, he decided to travel to Tral without them.
Pandita was later declared dead at a hospital.
Party leaders, including Manoj Sinha, New Delhi’s top administrator in Kashmir, have condemned the attack.
“Terrorists will never succeed in their nefarious designs, and those responsible for such heinous acts shall be brought to justice,” Sinha said in a tweet.
Aditya Raj Kaul, a reporter in India, shared an update on the murder on Twitter, noting that “Pakistani terror group Lashkar e Tayyiba front organisations have claimed responsibility for killing Kashmiri Pandit Rakesh Pandita in Tral of South Kashmir yesterday evening. Yet another brutal attack against minority community in Kashmir valley.”
Pakistani terror group Lashkar e Tayyiba front organisations have claimed responsibility for killing Kashmiri Pandit Rakesh Pandita in Tral of South Kashmir yesterday evening. Yet another brutal attack against minority community in Kashmir valley. pic.twitter.com/Qi1zWKM7R8
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) June 3, 2021
The “front” organization claiming responsibility for the murder is an Islamic terror group known as the “People’s Anti-Fascist Front.” The group issued a press release to explain their actions with outlandish claims, writing:
“The cadres of People’s Anti Fascist Front neutralised a Fascist Hindu extremist Rakesh Pandit in Tral. This extremist was not only involved in creating a network of informers but was also involved in drug trafficking and other immoral activities.
If the Hindutva thugs believe that their evil designs can take roots in Kashmir then it is a delusion of great magnitude. We have an eye on every activity of theirs and we will deal with them appropriately.”
Disputing the Claims
An op-ed published by OP India disputes these claims. “It is important to mention here that the murder of Rakesh Pandita had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with his religion. He was murdered because he was Hindu. The Congress party and other opposition leaders by accusing the BJP of being ‘fascist’ have provided terrorists with a convenient excuse to indulge in terrorism,” the article reads.
The writer also notes that the fact that this terrorist group claims to be “anti fascist” is no mere coincidence. “It’s not just liberals in India that the statement is geared towards, it is also designed to appeal to western liberals,” the article states. “Western liberals claim that anyone who is not a fascist is Antifa. That is how they have justified political violence against Conservatives in the United States of America and whitewashed the intense spell of rioting by Antifa in cities across the country.”
“Now, we are in a situation where Islamic terrorists have started calling themselves ‘Antifa’. The irony of the situation is enough to make heads explode in disbelief,” the writer adds. “Islamic terrorists in Kashmir wish to appeal to western liberals by the usage of the term and since, those in the latter camp are predisposed to consider every Hindutvavadi a Nazi, terrorists might even succeed in finding takers for their extremist ideology among liberals in the West.”