Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police Tuesday said that the PhD scholar from Bemina area of Srinagar who recently went missing on a trek in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal has joined Hibul Mujahideen outfit.
The disclosure by the police came at the wreath laying ceremony of a CRPF soldier who was killed this morning ina gunfight in Pulwama.
At the ceremony which was held in Srinagar, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar when asked over the missing youth, said, “Yes, as per our reports, Hilal Ahmed, a Ph D scholar from Bemina area of Srinagar has joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. If his family brings him back, we will not arrest him.”
On June 13, Hilal, who is pursuing PhD in Management Studies from Kashmir University, went for trekking along with five other youth to Naranag area of Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, but went missing while all his five friends returned home on the same evening.
The friends have maintained that Hilal did not accompany them to the higher reaches of the trek and stayed close to the base camp.
An orphan and survived by his elder brother, Hilal’s relatives have been protesting in Srinagar and had demanded authorities ro trace him.
While the police has now made the disclosure, sources said that Hilal was a close friend of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Junaid Sehrai, son of separatist leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai who was killed in an encounter at Nawa Kadal area of Srinagar’s old city recently.
Sources said that Hilal was motivated towards joining Hizb ranks after Junaid’s killing.
They further said that Hilal’s family would be urged to make appeals to their son to return home.
“If he accepts his family’s requests, his home coming would be facilitated smoothly and he won’t be arrested or put behind bars,” police sources said. (KNO)