Missing Kashmiri PhD scholar has joined Hizbul Mujahideen: IGP

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar (File photo)

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir Police today said that the missing PhD scholar from Bemina area of Srinagar has joined Hibul Mujahideen terror outfit and offered that if his family members could persuade him to return, he won’t be arrested.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of slain CRPF officer who was killed in Pulwama encounter early this morning, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said: “Yes, as per our reports, Hilal Ahmed, a PhD scholar from Bemina area of Srinagar has joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. If his family brings him back, we will not arrest him.”

On June 13, Hilal, who is pursuing PhD from Kashmir University, went for trekking along with five other youths to the Naranag area of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. All his five friends returned home on the same evening, except Hilal.

There has been no clue of Hilal’s whereabouts since then. Yesterday, his family members had urged the J&K administration and other security agencies to trace their son, while claiming that he is not a terrorist.

Sources said that Hilal was a close friend of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Sehrai, who was killed in an encounter at the Nawa Kadal area of Srinagar’s old city and must have got attracted towards joining militancy after Sehrai’s killing.

However, police sources told NVI that Hilal’s family would be urged to make appeal to their son to return home. “If he accepts his family’s requests, his homecoming would be facilitated smoothly and he won’t be arrested or put behind bars,” police sources said,

“Many youth who had joined militancy returned after their parents repeatedly appealed them to come home. We will try the same in this case too,” they said.