Four more youths from South Kashmir go missing

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LUBNA FAYAZ

Srinagar (NVI): Four more youths from South Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Shopian have gone missing since the past week, some of whom have reportedly joined militant ranks.

Sources told NVI that Umer Khanday, a resident of Tulbagh in Pampore, Pulwama; Amir Ahmed Malik from Hadergund of Zainapora in Shopian; Shahnawaz Ahmad from Sambora in Pulwama and Umer Malik from Sugan in Shopian have gone missing.

16-year-old Umer Mushtaq, who was studying in class 11th went missing from his home in the last week of October, locals from Tulbagh said.

Police officials, when contacted, said that the family of Umar has filed a missing report at police station Pampore on October 26.

Amir Ahmed Malik, 22, who is a resident of Haidergund in Shopian went missing from his home after he left home to play cricket with his friend, locals from Haidergund said.

Umer Malik, who is from the Sugan area of Shopian, the native place of Al Badr commander Zeenat ul Islam, and falls in the Zainapora in Shopian, which as one of the most volatile areas and home to dozens of militants, including Saddam Padder and Waseem Shah has also gone missing in the last week.

Sources said that the duo has joined the Al-Badr terror outfit.

Another police official told NVI that they are investigating the incidents from all possible angles. “It is early to say if they have joined militancy,” the official said.

Pertinently, South Kashmir has become the hotbed of militancy post-2016, when the Kashmir valley saw a revival of militant recruitment. Since then, despite the killings of hundreds of Militants, many more have joined the terror outfits.

The security forces in J&K have been trying to stop militant recruitment. “Many youths have surrendered, we want the youth to return to the mainstream and give up arms,” an Indian Army official told NVI.

-ARK