AMU scholar ‘linked’ with Hizbul tweeted about missing JNU student, Hadiya case
Social media and blog accounts show that the controversial encounter in Bhopal resulting in the death of eight undertrials, the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, and Hadiya’s conversion to Islam are themes that kept Hizbul Mujahideen’s latest recruit in Kashmir, Mannan Wani, occupied before he picked up the gun.
A picture of 26-year-old Wani, a geology research scholar from Aligarh Muslim University, holding a grenade launcher has gone viral on social media since Sunday night. The text on the picture says Wani hails from Lolab area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, that his code is “Hamzah Bhai”, and that he has been active since January 5.
A senior Kupwara police officer, however, told HT that police have not confirmed if Wani has joined the Hizb. “His father came and informed police. Wani was in Aligarh and then disappeared. We know of a photo being shared on social media and are investigating,” he added.
The last tweets of Wani, whose Facebook account is now suspended, are about the Hadiya case. He wrote: “Aren’t Females of India in their 20’s full citizens of this country equals before the law? #freeHadiya #BraveHadiya”. In another satirical post, he wrote: “In India, At the age of 18 One can choose his/her PM but can’t chose her religion, Why? Becoz, Islam is Terrorism. #BravaHadiya #Muslims.”
Some of his other tweets criticise Indian security forces for the killings of civilians during encounters. One such post from March last year says: “On an average one Kashmiri gets killed every day- Genocide is already going on. Where are we heading? #KashmirBleeds #Martyrs”.
“Nowadays, when the attention of whole India has been diverted by demonetization, let us not stop, let us ask questions and let us strive for Justice (sic). As Albert Einstein has rightly said ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning,” blogged Wani while questioning the state’s version of the encounter in Bhopal.
Meanwhile, AMU suspended Wani on Monday and constituted an inquiry committee. Uttar Pradesh police raided his room at Habib Hall in the presence of proctor Prof M Mohsin Khan, where they recovered some literature, which was sealed. SSP Rajesh Pandey said, “The literature has been seized for further investigation.”
Pandey said Wani was on campus till January 2. “His family lodged a missing person complaint on January 5. Police and intelligence agencies have been scrutinising his activities and contacts in Aligarh. The NIA is also probing the matter,” he said.
(With inputs from HTC in Aligarh)