Hilal Dar fourth Kashmiri scholar who ‘joined’ militancy since 2016

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Hilal Ahmad, a KU scholar who is missing in Srinagar
Hilal Ahmad, a KU scholar who is missing in Srinagar

SRINAGAR — Hilal Ahmad Dar, who is pursuing doctorate at University of Kashmir, is fourth scholar in Kashmir who has ‘joined’ militancy since 2016.

Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday said that the missing PhD scholar from Bemina area of Srinagar has joined Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and if his family members would bring him back, he won’t be arrested.

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Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar 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.”

Hilal, a resident of Bemina Srinagar, was part of a group of five persons who had gone for trekking to Gangabal lake in Ganderbal district. While others got back by that evening, he went missing.

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Family members and relatives had also appealed to him to return back home.

“He is a PhD scholar. He is a meritorious and bright student and one among toppers,” Head of Department, Business School Kashmir University, Professor Iqbal Hakeem said.

An official, however, said the scholar had not sought any permission from the department before going for trekking. “A scholar usually informs his or her supervisor while going outside Kashmir or on trekking. But he had not sought any permission,” the official said.

He is the fourth PhD scholar in Kashmir who joined militancy ranks for the last few years.

Slain Professor Muhammad Rafi Bhat from Ganderbal went missing after delivering his last lecture to his students. The 32-year-old professor was killed within 48 hours in a gunfight after he had joined the militancy.

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Another scholar turned militant, Manan Bashir Wani (27) a resident of Lolab Kupwara, who was enrolled as a PhD scholar with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), joined militant ranks in January 2018 and was spotted with militants in south Kashmir, carrying AK-47 rifle. He was killed nine months after he joined ranks in a gunfight in Handwara district.

A research scholar-turned-militant Sabzar Ahmad Sofi of Nainan area in southern Anantnag district had joined militancy soon after the killing of popular Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in 2016 and was killed in Nowgam gunfight in Srinagar district on October 25, 2018.

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