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Counter insurgent joins Congress

Srinagar, April 3: The son of Kashmir’s most famous counter-insurgent, Kuka Parrey, has joined the Congress, which is becoming a sanctuary for men once associated with the murder of militant sympathisers.

Imtiyaz Ahmed Parrey joined the party along with several associates early this week, calling it a homecoming. “My father and grandfather too were associated with the Congress at one time,” he said at the party headquarters in the presence of state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz.

Kuka Parrey had in the early 1990s founded the state-backed militia, Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon.

The group is believed to have killed dozens of militants and their sympathisers and has been accused of many rights abuses. It lost its top leadership to militant attacks, with Kuka Parrey himself murdered in 2003.

Imtiyaz was the chief spokesperson for the Awami League, a political front for the Ikhwan that is now headed by his elder brother Khursheed.

Earlier this year, the Centre awarded counter-insurgent Momma Kanna a Padma Shri. Before that, Usman Majeed, a militant-turned-counter-insurgent and close aide of Kuka, had joined the Congress.

Several top Ikhwan men had joined the National Conference in the past, causing the party’s debacle in the 2002 state elections.

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