At a time when security forces are often targeted by stone-pelting youths in the Kashmir Valley, a Kashmiri from a separatist hotbed Sopore is all set to fight Maoists in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.
Gul Junaid Khan, 26, was not only inducted as assistant commandant in central reserve police force (CRPF) along with 83 officers on Thursday, but was awarded the coveted ‘Director’s Baton’ by CRPF DG K Durga Prasad for topping the batch.
Khan commanded the passing out parade of the 47th batch of directly appointed gazetted officers at CRPF academy, Kadarpur in Gurgaon on Thursday.
Khan was born in Pehlipora village of Baramulla district in 1990 when militancy had just erupted in the Valley. His father, Aabid Hussain Khan is a banker and mother Muneera, an academician. His elder sister, who is married in Sopore, runs a day-care centre back home while the younger sister studies clinical biochemistry in University of Kashmir. The family lives in Sopore, one of the most sensitive towns of Kashmir.
Khan has many things common with Hizbul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, whose death in July this year in an encounter sparked the current unrest in Kashmir. Wani was tech savvy, a poster boy of Kashmiri separatism on social media, Khan is a computer science graduate from government college, Jammu. While Wani came from a well-off family in Tral in south Kashmir , Khan is also from a similar background .
Like Wani’s headmaster father, Khan’s mother is principal at district institute of education and training (DIET), Sopore. While Khan has now picked up a gun to fight for India, Wani used it to fan sentiments against the country.
Unlike Wani, who would draw Kashmiri youth towards militancy, Khan aspires to bring long-lasting solution to Kashmir imbroglio by using his position in the country’s largest paramilitary force.
“I will make full use of CRPF to the best to restore peace in Kashmir,’ said assistant commandant Khan, who would be posted to fight Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur next month.
After passing the 12th standard examination from St Joseph’s School in Baramulla in 2008, Khan graduated in computer science from Government College in Jammu in 2012. Since then he has been training for union public service commission (UPSC) examinations in Delhi’s Rajendra Nagar area. He appeared in the combined UPSC test in 2013, the result of which was announced in 2014. On Thursday he, along with 83 colleagues including five women officers, Khan completed a 52-week training and was inducted into the CRPF.
“I am proud of CRPF. I wanted to be an IPS officer, but I am happy where I am now,” he said. His uncle Raj Aijaz Ali, IPS, retired as inspector general of police (IGP) of Jammu and Kashmir police.
Recently, Nabeel Ahmad Wani, a young man from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, topped the BSF assistant commandant examination.