Anantnag: The list of well educated youth joining militant ranks in Kashmir seems to be growing endlessly as one more youth from Anantnag-with an M Phil degree-has chosen to tread the path, leaving behind a family who had all hopes pinned on him.
Pictures of Zubair Ahmad Wani – son of Muhammad Afzal Wani, a resident of Dehruna village in Dooru area of Anantnag district – posing with an AK-47 went viral on Friday on social networking sites.
Wani is an addition to a growing list of engineers, research fellows, and postgraduates choosing the path of militancy in Kashmir.
He completed his M Phil from a Rajasthan university couple of years ago after completing his masters in Political Science from a university in Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh.
Wani’s family in Dehruna is in disbelief and shock, with no inkling whatsoever that he could take such a step.
“You cannot imagine what has befallen us. We have not even begun to understand that he can take such a step,” Wani’s cousin Muhammad Ishaq, told Kashmir Reader. They live in a joint family.
Ishaq describes his cousin as a humble brother who offered prayers sometimes and missed them at other times.
“He was not an overtly religious man and he never talked about the injustices taking place in Kashmir. It’s baffling,” he said.
Wani, as per his cousin, left home Thursday afternoon after he told his parents that he was going to appear in the JKSSB examinations to be held on Saturday.
However, Friday afternoon, his picture in army fatigues and brandishing an AK-47 has gone viral. “I was sitting on my shop when I got the news. I don’t even remember if I closed the shop or not. I ran home. We have been hit by a catastrophe,” his cousin said.
A request by this reporter to talk to Wani’s parents was gently turned down by Ishaq for they were not in a position to talk.
“We belong to a lower middle class family. Our parents have sold land to educate us and now they expected us to get settled and pull the family out of poverty. How can he betray all of us like that?” asked Ishaq in disbelief. Wani’s father, Muhammad Afzal, is a farmer and apart from an unmarried daughter he has a widowed daughter, her two kids and another son to look after.
“Everyone had their hopes pinned on him and me for I was also going to appear in the JKSSB exams, being a post-graduate in Bio-Technology myself,” Ishaq said.
He said that their parents were eagerly waiting for them to get settled in life and then take care of the families, which was not to be.
Anantnag SSP, Altaf Khan, said the police were probing the matter.
“Yes it has come into my notice and an investigation has been started,” Khan said.