SRINAGAR: The United Jihad Council (UJC) on Friday condemned the killing of an Indian Army officer whose bullet-riddled body was recovered earlier this week from Shopian district of Indian-held Kashmir, terming his murder a “handiwork of Indian agencies”. The body of Lt Ummer Fayaz, a resident of Kashmir’s Kulgam district who was on a holiday at home to attend the marriage of his cousin, was abducted by unidentified gunmen from the house of his relatives. His body was recovered the next day on May 10 from Hermain village. Although the Indian police have blamed rebels for the abduction and murder with posters of three “accused” rebels wanted in the case surfacing in Shopian district on Thursday, the UJC, a conglomerate of nearly two-dozen outfits operating in the state, denied the charges. “Our rebels are not involved in murder of Lt Ummer Fayaz. Such a killing is condemnable. An officer from a pro-freedom family was murdered by the Indian agencies and rebels are being accused of it to shield the real face of Indian agencies,” UJC spokesman Syed Sadaqat Hussain, quoting the outfit’s chief Syed Salahuddin, said in a statement to a local news agency. The killing of Lt Ummer, the first person from Kulgam to join India’s elite National Defence Academy, sparked an outrage in the disputed region where the official claim of rebel involvement in the murder was met with muted denial and scepticism as no rebel group had claimed responsibility. The UJC chief also said there was no role of al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban in the “freedom struggle” of Kashmir. “The ongoing freedom struggle aimed at throwing the Indian forces out of Kashmir has been started by the people themselves. There is no role of any other force, including al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban,” he said. The remarks coincided with the fresh audio statement on Friday by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa, the engineering graduate from south Kashmir who, without naming the Hurriyat leaders, threatened to behead those who come in “our path of establishing Sharia rule” in Kashmir. “They (Hurriyat leaders) must explain the meaning of the slogan ‘Azadi Ka Matlab Kya, La Ilaha Illal’la’ which we heard during our childhood. We are laying down our lives in the path of Allah and those infidels who try to come in our way will have to face dire consequences,” Zakir, who took over the reins of Hizbul Mujahideen from Burhan Wani, said. In an earlier statement, Zakir had said the rebels were not fighting for any political goals and their only motive was to establish Sharia system, prompting the Hurriyat to issue a rebuttal, distancing itself from the Hizb commander’s utterances. UJC chief Salahuddin said, “India was trying to create a group like ISIS to defame the rebel groups who are fighting against them (occupation forces)”. “The ISIS has been created by the European imperials to defame Islam,” he said.