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Missing Kashmiri teenager, who posed with gun, is back home: Police

The 19-year-old went missing on May 20 and a few days later pictures of him posing with a gun went viral on social media in Kashmir

india Updated: Jun 01, 2017 19:40 IST
Ashiq Husain
Ashiq Husain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Missing Kashmiri Teenager,Tufail Ahmad Dar,Kashmir Valley
Police and CRPF personnel stand guard in Batamaloo area of Srinagar on May 16, 2017. (PTI)

The missing Kashmiri teenager, whose gun wielding photographs went viral on social media a week ago and raised fears that he might have joined a militant organisation, has returned to his family, police said on Thursday.

Deputy inspector general of police (central Kashmir) GH Bhat confirmed Tufail Ahmad Mir, a college student from Srinagar’s Qamarwari area, had returned home, but refused to say whether the teenager was arrested or he surrendered to the force.

“Why should I tell you whether he has surrendered or was arrested?” the DIG asked. On further prodding, he said that the boy is “not with us” and that “he is with his home people”.

19-year-old Dar went missing on May 20 and a few days later pictures of him posing with a gun appeared on social media in Kashmir. He had recently joined college and was in his first semester at the Government Degree College in Bemina when he went missing.

A senior police official confirmed Dar met with militants to join their ranks.

An increasing number of local men have been joining militancy after Burhan Wani, a popular Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander, was killed in an encounter in July last year but just a few of them are from the summer capital, Srinagar.

Wani is said to have taken to militancy after security forces allegedly thrashed him and his brother Khalid in 2010 without any provocation.

Last month, a 23-year-old man from Shopian, who escaped from police custody earlier this month, released a video saying he had joined the militant ranks and that “tyranny’ and “illegal detention” had led him to becoming an insurgent.

On May 14, the then Kashmir police inspector general, SJM Gilani said that around 200 militants were active in Kashmir valley and around 110 were local men. Superintendent of police (east city) Gurvinder Pal Singh told the Hindustan Times last week that two men from his area of the city had joined militancy after Wani’s death.

Last week, junior home minister Hansraj Ahir told the Parliament that 88 people had joined militancy in the restive valley in 2016 when large parts of Kashmir were rocked by protests against the killing of Wani. It was the highest in six years and potentially linked to public angst after Wani was killed by security forces.

At least 56 of them were from south Kashmir, the epicentre of the agitation that saw violent clashes between stone-pelting protesters and security forces.

First Published: Jun 01, 2017 17:38 IST