Muhammad Ahsan Dar
Muhammad Ahsan Dar
Sariwarpora Pattan, Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir
|Other names||Master Ahsan Dar|
|Known for||Founding the Hizbul Mujahideen|
Muhammad Ahsan Dar (Kashmiri: محمد احسن ڑار) (born 1960 in Sariwarpora Pattan, Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir) is the founder and former head of the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, a group that has been designated as a terrorist organisation by India, the European Union and the United States. Later on he founded the Muslim Mujahideen in 1992. He is a former school teacher and received the nickname "Master" for it when he joined militancy. He is currently a separatist leader from Jammu and Kashmir.
Dar had crossed over to AJK in 1984 and 1988 in a bid to get arms training. After receiving arms training, he returned to the valley. He was arrested in 1988 but escaped from a hospital. He went again across the Line of Control in 1989 and later infiltrated into India via the Bangladesh border and joined the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in 1989.
Dar split from JKLF to lay the foundation of pro-Pakistan group Hizbul Mujahideen on 15 September 1989 with Abdul Wahid Sheikh of Beerwah. He became the militant group's chief commander, and in 1990, had more than 10,000 armed men under his command.
Dar was also affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami. Though Hizbul had no official support from Jamaat, several of its members and affiliates were among Hizbul's founders. The pro-independence JKLF's expansion and growth in power worried both the Jamaat and Pakistan. In an attempt to counter it, Jamaat started taking over Hizbul Mujahideen and in 1990, Dar declared Hizbul as the "sword arm of Jamaat". Yusuf Shah aka Sayeed Salahudeen who was a staunch Jamaati, gradually started taking over the leadership of Hizbul. Dar, the chief commander, despite the Jamaat takeover had become increasingly independent and was opposed to Jamaat's plan to impose a "shura"-style council leadership. Dar was also disillusioned by the killings perpetrated by Hizbul Mujahideen on members of other militant organizations and pro-independence leaders and activists. He was expelled by Salahudeen loyalists in 1991 and formed his own group along with the loyalists in 1992, naming it as "Muslim Mujahideen". The group quickly fell apart after his arrest in 1993.
In spite of all this, Dar, however, remained close to Sayeed Salahudeen, who also heads the United Jihad Council.
He was arrested and released in 1999 after seven years in detention. He was last arrested on 14 January 2009 and released on 25 December 2012.
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