Was there at all any terror meeting in the heart of Srinagar city? Did terrorists from Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) participate in a meeting? The photograph of HM commander Umar alias Hanzalla posing in front of Ghanta Ghar at Lal Chowk in Srinagar has been dubbed by many in New Delhi as a “massive security breach”. But what is the real story? Republic TV spoke to various people from Jammu & Kashmir Police (JKP) and Central Intelligence agency to understand whether this is propaganda or a real threat.
A preliminary analysis was done by JKP officers who are in charge of the area where the alleged picture was taken. Republic TV has in fact accessed the pictures taken by the force for the analysis of the HM photograph. Prima facie it does appear that there are numerous loopholes in the narrative that is being peddled by terrorist organizations to invoke a fair degree of fear. “While analysing the current background of the area and the background in the picture, it completely appears to be different. Analysis indicates that the picture was not taken today,” said a JKP source.
If one takes a closer look at the two pictures, one would notice that the “banner in the background is not seen in the picture.” The source explained, “Construction in the red tarpaulin covered building started this year which is not seen in the alleged picture of the terrorist. The picture could be of last year.” It is important to note that the security agency officers aren’t saying that this picture is photoshopped. “This requires further probe which the police are already doing,” said a top JKP source.
Central government officials also say that this picture is an attempt to boost the already existing propaganda that is being fueled on social media. “The photo certainly appears to be dated,” said a central government officer. The letter that was doing the rounds, stating that on November 21 HM would be holding its command council meeting in Srinagar, is still being verified.
Such claims are made once in a while. The last such attempt was made in October this year. Often the OGWs meet which is then later termed as the convention. Last command council meeting took place in the heart of Kashmir during the peak of militancy in the 90s.