March 2018 News

Sombre Spring In Kashmir Valley As Six Youth Go Missing

28 March 2018
The Hindu
Peerzada Ashiq

Srinagar: Photos of three of them with weapons in hand surface online; those not found include a university student and a head constable's son. Security agencies in Kashmir are alarmed as six youth had gone missing in the Valley in March. Photos of three of them with weapons in hand surfaced online in the past few days, raising suspicion that they have joined militancy. One of those missing is a student of the University of Kashmir and another is a policeman's son. Protests broke out on the university campus on Wednesday, demanding the whereabouts of Sameer Ahmad Dar, a Department of Earth Sciences student, be revealed. The students say Dar has been missing since March 19 after leaving home at Kakpora in Pulwama. 'The university has written to the Director-General of Police and requested him to ascertain the student's whereabouts. We request the agitating students to maintain calm and cooperate till the police ascertain the facts,' a university official said. A senior police official told The Hindu that an investigation had failed to establish that Dar had links with the militants, but they could not rule out the possibility. At Kawa Mohallah in Khanyar of Old City here, Mymoona Jan, mother of Fahad Mushtaq Waza, 18, known as Faid, appealed to her son to 'quit militancy'. Faid went on a religious programme on March 23 and on Tuesday, his gun-wielding pictures were splashed on social media sites. He allegedly joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba and took the name Abu Usama. 'He [Waza] betrayed, and lied to, me. He said he would be back by Monday after finishing a religious programme. I appeal to him to return now,' Ms. Jan said. In Kupwara, the police have declared Junaid Ahmad Wani (25) of Tikkipora 'missing'. 'The matter is under investigation. We cannot conclude that Wani has joined militancy,' a senior police official said. Bilal Ahmad Shah (25), also from Kupwara, allegedly joined the militant ranks on March 20. He had been missing for three weeks and was seen carrying an AK 47 rifle in a photo posted online recently, showing that he has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. Another youth who announced his alleged association with militants on social media is Abid Maqbool Bhat, son of a head constable at Tral in Pulwama, He is said to have joined the Jasih-e-Muhammad. Junaid Ahmad Khan, son of the newly appointed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, joined the Hizb.