SRINAGAR: An MBA student from Pulwama district became the latest in the list of young and educated youths joining the militant ranks in restive Kashmir.
Ishfaq Wani, 26, from Koil village of south Kashmir joined Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba and given the code name, ‘Abu Turab’. His picture with an AK-47 rifle has gone viral on social media.
His family had registered a missing complaint after Ishaq went missing on July 22.
The police are ascertaining facts after Ishfaq’s picture surfaced on social media. “We are confirming from our sources whether he has joined the militancy,” a police officer said.
It is a pattern among the youths joining militancy to post their pictures with guns on social media for announcing their decision. Many educated youths, including engineering passouts, MBA degree holders, post graduates and graduates, have joined the militancy this year.
In January, PhD scholar Mannan Bashir Wani of Kupwara joined militancy. Junaid Ahmad Sehrai, the son of separatist leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, also took up gun. Like Ishfaq, Sehrai had done MBA.
According to official sources, over 100 youths have joined militancy in the first six months of this year. The trend picked up after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was eliminated in 2016. In 2015, 66 Kashmiris joined militancy. The figure rose to 88 in 2016 and 126 in 2017.
Despite the killing of militants in encounters with security forces, the recruitment of local militants has not stopped. Security forces have failed to find out a way to tackle this trend and to prevent the young and educated youth from joining the path of violence.