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

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A big disclosure has been made in the case of a PhD scholar of Kashmir University whose family had been pleading with the Jammu and Kashmir Administration for the disappearance and withdrawal of the son for the past one week. IGP Kashmir Range Vijay Kumar said that PhD scholar Hilal Ahmed Dar has joined militant organization Hizbul Mujahideen. He told the family that if his family brings him back, we will not arrest him.

Hilal Ahmad Dar, who was pursuing his Ph.D went on missing June 13 during a trek to high altitude Naranag in the central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. While his four other friends returned home on the same evening, Hilal did not.

His family staged a protest on Monday in Srinagar urging the administration and the police to take concrete steps to locate him.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar speaking to reporters said that the missing youth has joined militant ranks.

“He joined Hizbul Mujahideen,” Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of a CRPF man who was killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Pulwama in which two militants were also neutralised.

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Dar’s joining of militant ranks has come at a time when recruitment has been quite less.

Police officials say the recruitment of militants has also seen a dip this year. From January to May 2019, 85 people joined militancy, and this year during this period last year 39 have taken up arms.

Earlier, family members said that their son Hilal Ahmed Dar had left the house for trekking Ganga Ganderbal on June 14. But he did not return after that. Meanwhile, his family protested outside the Kashmir Press Enclave two to three times, pleading with the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Administration to bring back his missing son. He also claimed that his son had not joined any terrorist organization.

The family said the youth is an orphan having lost both parents when he was in Class 10.

The relatives have appealed the authorities to trace the youth and help the family come out of the mental agony they are presently undergoing.

After this disclosure by the police, Hilal’s friends have also suffered a tremendous blow. A friend of his, while disclosing what happened to Hilal on WhatsApp on 14 June, said that the person who wished to live a peaceful life in Kashmir, how can he wander from the mainstream and meet terrorist organizations.

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Be aware that two militants have been killed by security forces in the district Pulwama here today. However, a CRPF jawan was also martyred in this encounter. IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar made this statement while speaking to reporters after paying tribute to the martyred CRPF jawan. He said that if Hilal’s family calls him back, he assures them that he will not arrest him.

After killing of Burhan wani (HM commander) such joining increased tremendously. From Govt. employers to Scholars, engineers, philosophers, college students, Teacher and even SPO’s of J&K Police started joining militant ranks. So what makes such qualified and employed youth to join militancy is still a question to be answered. Chart 1 illustrates the number of youth who joined militancy from 2010- 2018. The number of fatalities of militant chronological events happened since 1947 in the history of Kashmir.

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

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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.

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.

Reported By Wahid Bhat, He is a Journalist based in Jammu and Kashmir.

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