New Delhi: The Indian security agencies have launched a major crackdown against the sympathisers of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and its suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar, who was behind the biggest terror attack on the forces in Kashmir on Thursday. At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in the attack. Pakistan sympathisers in the Valley started to rejoice after the dastardly attack. Some on social media even called Dar a ‘freedom fighter’ and celebrated his cowardly act.

Security agencies are scanning such accounts and trying to get their locations as they suspect many locals to be behind this. It is suspected that these locals may have given logistical support to Dar, including helping him procure 350kg of explosives used in the attack. 

According to a senior intelligence officer, more than 5,000 active social media accounts linked to banned terror outfits, which are continuously posting and sharing pictures and video of the Pulwama attack and portraying Dar as a hero, are under their scanner. They are using this attack to further pollute young minds in the Valley, pushing Islamic propaganda and showing the Indian armed forces in bad light.

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“Most of the active sympathisers are in the Valley while some are manipulating the facts and running Islamic propaganda from Pakistan. We are trying to identify their real identity along with their geo-location for ground monitoring,” a source from the security forces told Mynation.

The official revealed that terrorists are using pictures and videos to sway the youth of Kashmir. A video of Pakistan sympathisers celebrating Jaish-e-Mohammed's attack on Thursday had surfaced on social media.

Terror outfits have roped in preachers to target the youth of Kashmir. “The whole idea is to handicap the new generation and the easiest platform is the digital world. Soon after the Pulwama attack the message of ‘Kashmir Azadi’ started to circulate across the internet,” the source said.

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Pakistan sympathisers are sharing news clippings from Pakistani media which has called Dar a ‘freedom fighter’ and some of the photos of the news coverage have been morphed to spread the propaganda.

The security agencies are closely monitoring terror supporters’ communication on WhatsApp and Telegram groups to gather more information on them. “The situation in Kashmir is worrying as they have made several chat rooms, fora, pages and WhatsApp groups from where they are slowly poisoning youths by manipulating the facts. They have become part of these groups and time and again keep posing news, pictures and videos of atrocity done to Muslims in the Valley, which are nothing but morphed clippings. They edit the content to show Syrian refugees as Kashmiris and Israeli soldiers as Indians,” said a senior officer.

These supporters mostly operate using aliases on social media. Facebook is the most popular medium to reach out to a large audience but most of their internal communication happens through encrypted chat.