SRINAGAR: Police in Jammu and Kashmir is investigating whether a PhD scholar from Valley, who was studying in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), has joined militant group Hizbul Mujahideen after his picture holding an AK-47 rifle went viral on social media.
Hizb, meanwhile, today confirmed that the PhD scholar has joined the militancy.
“We are investigating whether he has joined the militancy,” SSP Kupwara Shamshar Hussain told New Indian Express.
He said as of now it is not confirmed whether the PhD scholar Manan Bashir Wani, son of Bashir Ahmad Wani’s R/o Tekipora in the border district of Kupwara has joined militancy.
The picture of Manan, who was studying in AMU, holding an AK-47 rifle had gone viral on social media on January 5.
According to the description of the picture, he has joined militancy and has been given code-name of Hamzah Bhai.
SSP Kupwara said Manan’s father has lodged a complaint with police that he was studying in AMU and has gone mission.
Sources said Manan was scheduled to return home 4-5 days back but did not reach his home and also did not contact his family members.
The family lodged a complaint after they lost contact with their son.
Hussain said his parents told them that Manan was not having that kind of mindset to join militancy.
“The family is well-educated,” he said.
Manan’s father is a lecturer and his brother is an engineer.
“We don’t know whether the picture of PhD scholar carrying an AK-47 rifle is real or it has been photo-shopped. We have launched investigations,” Hussain said.
He said there is very less possibility of PhD scholar having joined militancy. “We have collected information about the family and the possibility of Manan joining militancy is very less”.
When told that if Manan had not joined militancy, he could have rebuted it, SSP said, “We have come to know that he had remained disconnected with family in the past also for some days due to stress”.
Sources said police is tracking Manan’s call record to ascertain his last location and to check whether he really is in Valley.
Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen today confirmed that the PhD scholar has joined the militant ranks.
In an e-mailed statement, Hizb spokesman, Saleem Hashmi quoted outfit’s chief Syed Salah-ud-din as saying that PhD scholar has joined the militant ranks and his joining militancy ranks negates propaganda that the youth are joining militant ranks because of unemployment.
Sources said police is worried that if it proves true that the PhD scholar has joined militant ranks, then more educated boys could be lured to the militancy.
“It is very unfortunate and may have dangerous consequences. Already over 110 boys joined militancy last year and PhD scholar joining militant may give big propaganda tool to the militants to lure more young boys to the militancy,” sources added.