Though Indian security agencies initially dismissed TRF as just another social media handle, after the arrest of six of its members
and seizure of a huge cache of arms, they have been on a wild goose chase. On the ground, security agencies have found that TRF does not really exist as an organisation.
Defence security analysts believe that TRF is yet another attempt by Pakistan to project terrorism in Kashmir as an indigenous freedom movement, giving Pakistani banned terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and
Jaish-e-Mohammad plausible deniability, and allowing Pakistan to evade international pressure.
“Since its surfacing
on social media platforms, it has resorted to falsely claiming high traction acts and terrorists as its own. TRF has been holding to every thread there is to associate itself with any and every event. It is not a new tactic that the moment a group surfaces,
it starts making a series of tall claims to set up and validate itself as the top rung among others,” a senior Army officer said.
differentiates them from the others, he said, is the sheer planning and precision of execution. “Every claim they make is swiftly followed by an online barrage of tweets and telegrams. From nicely printed English announcements on a letterhead with serial
numbering to professionally made videos of audio messages are the tools used for enhancing their image as an organised and ‘better’ outfit than others. It is an old marketing technique to establish your credibility in a new market,” he said.
TRF, incidentally, sounds like The Plebiscite Front (TPF) — a political group led by the aides of Kashmir’s most popular
leader Sheikh Abdullah after he was arrested in 1953 on the directions of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in a case related to sedition.
Also, in the last decade, the Kashmiri Muslim intelligentsia, its diaspora and the new generations backing Kashmir’s separation from India, have created and named multiple platforms across the world with the word ‘resistance’
“TRF is nothing but a bunch of Kashmiri Muslim separatists with some knowledge of media and literature like
that of Agha Shahid Ali,” a counter-intelligence Kashmiri official said.
Cyber analysts, however, claim that TRF’s social media
accounts, according to the internet protocol address, were being operated from Islamabad and that too, mostly from an iPhone.