Srinagar, Jun 2 (IANS): The recent killing of a circus artist in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag town was owned by an otherwise unknown terror outfit calling itself the 'Kashmir Freedom Fighters and Anti-Fascist Front'.
Deepu Kumar, the slain circus artist, belonged to Udhampur district of Jammu division.
The terror front owned the killing of the civilian and also threatened all non-locals and Kashmiri Pandits asking them not to visit Kashmir or else face similar consequences as that of Deepu Kumar.
Security forces and Intelligence officers of both the union territory and the Central government believe that the so-called Kashmir Freedom Fighters and the Anti-Fascist Front is merely a name used by the Lashkar-e-Taliba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terror groups to claim responsibility for civilian killings whether those are killings of Kashmiri Pandits or non-local Hindus and Muslims.
"After their effectiveness and prowess to fight the security forces has been completely compromised, Pakistan-sponsored terror groups are now working in tandem to carry out civilian killings so that their presence is somehow felt.
"The closest these terror outfits can come to the security forces is by planting an odd improvised explosive device (IED) etc on roads and highways likely to be used by the security forces," a senior Intelligence official said.
The official added that the security forces and the local police are close on the heels of these terror groups and in most cases those involved in Kashmir Pandit and other civilian killings have been eliminated.
As to the total number of terrorists still operative in the Kashmir Valley, the intelligence agencies hold that these have drastically come down and reduced to less than 30 including their overground workers.
Security forces also suggest that an innocent civilian killing often invokes public anger and that is another reason the main players in LeT and JeM do not directly claim such killings and give names of fake terror groups.
"The main terror players also believe that the responsibility of a terror act being owned by a rather unknown group would put the security forces off scent," said another senior intelligence officer.