Kupwara: Three months after Manan Wani, a PHD scholar from Kupwara district announced his entry into militant ranks with a picture holding a gun, picture of another youth form the district holding a gun has gone viral on social media.
Bilal Ahmad Shah of Shartmuqam village of Lolab Kupwara is the son of Shamsudin Shah, a militant who was killed in an encounter with government forces in 1990.
Bilal was working in fruit mandi Srinagar and was missing for the past two weeks, while his mobile number was switched off.
Family sources said Bilal was mentally disturbed from several years because of harassment from government forces.
They said Bilal was first arrested in 2008 and spent a month behind bars. He was arrested again in 2016 unrest and had several FIRs registered against him.
They added that Bilal’s father was killed in an encounter with government forces in 1990 when Bilal and his elder brother and a sister were minors.
Bilal was missing from March 1, they said.
Gulam Rasool Shah, Bilal’s uncle said that it is difficult to believe that he has joined militant ranks.
“I think he was harassed by government agencies in past due to which he took such a step. After his detention in 2008 he was hospitalised and took two months to recover as he was tortured badly. In 2016 police registered several cases against him whenever any incident took place in our village or in neighbouring areas.”
He said Bilal has spent lot of time in Ladakh, and spent past two months at home, went back to work at Fruit Mandi Srinagar on March 1.
“Yesterday we heard that his picture is at social media sites along with a gun. We can’t believe but if it is true, we appeal him to return home,” Shah said.
Bilal reportedly got his initial education in an orphanage in Srinagar and was presently working as labourer.
In the viral picture, Bilal is displaying an AK47 rifle and the text on the on the picture says he has joined Hizb-ul-Mujahidin on 2 March 2018. His code name is written as Shahbaz.
A senior police officer wishing not to be named said that they are investigating who uploaded this picture.
“Three months ago the picture of Manan had gone viral but from the past three months we have no more information about him, the same situation is this, someone uploaded picture of Bilal with a gun, will we see what will we do” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kupwara, Shamshar Hussain said that police is investigating the matter.
“We have no more information about Bilal, but we are investigating the matter” SSP said.