Other States

Missing Srinagar trekker may have joined militant ranks, say police

Dar’s family held a protest in Srinagar and refuted reports that he has joined militancy

Dar’s family held a protest in Srinagar and refuted reports that he has joined militancy  

If his family brings him back, we will not arrest him, says Inspector General

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday said a Srinagar youth, who went missing during a trek in central Kashmir 10 days ago, may have joined the militant ranks, and “will not be arrested if he surrenders.”

“Our reports suggest Hilal Ahmed Dar may have joined the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. If his family brings him back, we will not arrest him,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.

This is a rare surrender policy offered by the police to a fresh recruit in the Valley, which saw killings of 108 militants in operation, with significant numbers of them local recruits.

The surrender offer came just a day after Dar’s family held a protest in Srinagar and refuted reports that he has joined militancy.

Dar, an MBA passout pursuing his doctorate from the Kashmir University (KU), is from Srinagar’s Bemina area. He, along with five other locals, went on a trek on June 13 in central Kashmir’s Naranag-Gangabal stretch. On their return, the trekkers claimed he went missing in a forest area.

Police sources said they were investigating the reports of Dar having links with slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Junaid Sehrai, son of Hurriyat leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, who was killed in an encounter in Srinagar on May 20.

Scores of social media handles went abuzz on Sunday with rumours of his getting killed among the three other militants in the Srinagar operation.

Nisar Ahmed, Dar’s uncle, is in a state of disbelief. “Check his phone records of 20 years. Nothing offensive against him,” said Mr. Ahmed.

Top police officials told The Hindu that militant recruitment in Srinagar had gone up this year. As two youths from Srinagar’s Qamarwari and Soura were killed in the recent encounter at Zoonimar, two more local youths were reportedly activated as militants in Srinagar, where militancy had touched zero figures last year.

 

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 9:23:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/missing-srinagar-youth-joined-militant-ranks-police/article31898484.ece

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