Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen Terrorists Will 'Blind With Acid' People Who Vote in Local Elections

A Pakistan-based militant group has threatened to carry out acid attacks against people who will take part in upcoming local elections in the Kashmir region, according to reports.

Hizbul Mujahideen said it would "pour acid" into the eyes of people who will vote. The group issued the warning as Panchayat elections—a vote based on a local political system to elect village leaders—are due to take place in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir state, in February.

Both Pakistan and India administer the region of Kashmir, and both claim sovereignty over its territories.

"You saw in 2016 how many youth lost their eye sights [to pellets]," a person thought to be the group's operational commander, Riyaz Naikoo, was heard saying in a video, according to the Hindustan Times.

"That is why we have planned... whosoever fights elections, he will be dragged out of his home and concentrated acid—sulphuric or hydrochloric acid—will be poured into his eyes so that he loses his eyesight and becomes a burden for his families for life."

Naikoo also reportedly spoke with a man identified as Sameer Tiger about previous threats the group had made.

"For the past 28 years we have been threatening those (participating in elections) but nothing happened," he is believed to have said.

Local police refused to comment on the alleged threats, with an officer saying he had heard about the clip but not yet seen it.

The elections were originally scheduled to take place last year, but were postponed due to violence sparked by the death of Hizbul Mujahideen's commander, Burhan Wani.

Indian security forces killed Wani in July 2016. Dozens of people died during months of unrest following the death of Wani, who enjoyed widespread support in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, Reuters reported.

Kashmir unrest
Indian Kashmiri shout slogans during the funeral procession for rebel commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Yasin Yatoo at Nagam Chadoora Budgam district of Srinagar on July 14, 2017. The group has reportedly threatened to carry out acid attacks against people who will take part in upcoming local elections in India-administered Kashmir. TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images

Hizbul Mujahideen originated in Jammu and Kashmir state in 1989. The pro-Pakistan group, which fights against Indian rule in Kashmir, is considered the largest terrorist organization in India-administered Kashmir.

It was formed to counter the ideology of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), an organization which called for the complete independence of Jammu and Kashmir, rather than its annexation to Pakistan.

The U.S. State Department designated it as a terrorist organization in 2016, one year after the European Union took a similar step.

"Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people," the U.S. said in a statement last year.

The group had close links with Pakistan intelligence, the ISI, and fighters from Afghanistan-based terrorist organization the Taliban.