SRINAGAR: The ailing mother and other family members of Etisham Bilal, 22, who went missing on Sunday from Sharda University in Greater Noida, have requested government authorities to find their only son.
On October 4, twenty-five days before he went missing, Etisham Bilal and fellow Kashmiri student Ubaid Yaseen were severely beaten up by local students in the university campus.
The university was closed down for three days after the incident and a contingent of police was deployed in the campus. More than 150 students were suspended from the university and police booked more than 350 students for rioting and related offences.
Etisham’s bedridden mother, Irfana Begum, who is suffering from heart ailments and thyroid, said she just wants “a glimpse of my son’s face.” Holding the glucose drip patched to her arm, she said, “We are eagerly waiting for Eitsham to come back home.”
Shabnum Begum, one of the family members, said that at 4:30pm on October 28, Etisham last spoke with his mother on phone. “After that he called only once, on the same day at 6pm, when he spoke briefly with his little sister, Hadiqa Bilal. Since then his phone is apparently switched off,” she said.
Etisham’s father, Bilal Ahmad Sofi, is a shopkeeper. He lives in Khanyar in old Srinagar.
“The last time when he spoke with his sister, he told Hadiqa that he was at Rohini railway station and heading towards his hostel. His phone was traced to the same station for the two days when he had last called home,” Shabnum said.
Abdul Hamid Sofi, Etisham’s uncle, said that the family were assured by the Sharda University authorities after the assault on Etisham Bilal that no harm will come to him. “But he (Etisham) called home and said that Kashmiri students were not feeling safe in mainland India,” Sofi said.
“We have lodged an FIR at Khanyar police station and a report has also been filed by the university authorities there, but there is no clue of his whereabouts,” Sofi said.
He said that wherever Etisham is, he should know that his ailing mother is bedridden and waiting for him. He requested Etisham to come home.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has appealed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to help in locating the missing Kashmiri student.