Went missing from home along with another boy in August; family is poor and distraught at the news
Bandipora: The picture of a gun-and-dagger-wielding boy from Hajin town surfaced on the internet on Wednesday, days ahead of panchayat polls to be held in the area.
The boy, identified as 14-year-old Mudasir Rashid Parray of Khankah Mohalla, had gone missing along with another 16-year-old boy, Bilal, from his home on August 31 this year. The duo went missing after an encounter took place at Parr Mohalla in which three Pakistani Lashkar militants were killed.
Despite repeated and emotional appeals from their families, which also went viral on social media, the boys had not contacted their families even once.
On Wednesday, Mudasir’s picture surfaced on the internet. The innocent-looking boy, with fair skin and bright hazel eyes, is seen holding an AK47 assault rifle in one hand, a dagger in another. The picture seems to be from some weeks or months ago, as the greenery in the background hasn’t yet faded away with the onset of winter.
Police sources believe that both the boys have joined militant ranks, though which outfit, they could not say. In Hajin, the dominant militant group is the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
Police records say that Mudasir had no criminal record prior to joining militant ranks. However, he “occasionally took part in stone throwing.”
According to relatives, the picture that surfaced on Wednesday has left the family of Mudasir in shock and distress.
Mudasir has two siblings, a brother who has a hearing impairment, and a sister. Both his parents have back ailments and are poor. Relatives said his parents were eagerly waiting for Mudasir’s return.
Senior Superintendent of Police Bandipora Sheikh Zulfikar Aazad told Kashmir Reader: “The boy is a five-month-old militant. Both he and his accomplice joined the LeT outfit soon after they went missing. The picture had gone viral then too and today it again vent viral.”
Asked if the picture acted as warning ahead of Panchayat elections in Hajin (on Saturda), he said it was in no way related to the polls.
“Whenever they wish to make a hero out of themselves, they do such things. He’s just a boy,” SSP Bandipora said.