Shock and disbelief has gripped Kashmir after a 26-year-old PhD scholar in Aligarh Muslim University joined the dreaded terror organisation Hizbul Mujhadeen in border district of Kupwara.
Mannan Bashir Wani of picturesque Lolaab Valley of North Kashmir went missing a few days ago. His picture brandishing an AK-47 rifle went viral after it was released on social network sites. Mannan alias Hamza bhai was seen raising his index finger signalling oneness of Allah, a usual trait of Jihadists in Kashmir.
Coming from an affluent family, Mannan was pursuing PhD in applied Geology from Aligarh Muslim University before becoming a militant.
Police sources said the father of the PhD scholar on Sunday lodged a report in the police station claiming that his son has gone missing from the university since January 3.
Sources said Mannan has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen somewhere in south Kashmir. Police has launched an investigation to figure out how he was radicalised to join the terror group. “We are investigating the matter. He was pursuing higher education and there was not a slightest hint that he would join militancy. Yet we are trying to find out who motivated him to join Hizbul”, said an officer.
Mannan is not the first highly-educated man to have joined militancy. In February last year, security forces killed 27-year-old militant Azharuddin Khan who had a PhD in Arabic.
Official figures reveal that more than 206 terrorists were killed last year, which is highest since 2010.
Figures reveal that 270 terrorists were killed by security forces in 2010. The figure came down to 119 in 2011. Around 84 terrorists were killed in 2012 followed by 100 in 2013, 110 in 2014 and 113 in 2015. Despite unrest, security forces killed 165 ultras in 2016.
Last year more than 117 local youth joined the militant ranks in the strife-torn Kashmir Valley, which is the highest in last seven years