No trace of Kashmiri MBBS student missing from Odisha, mother appeals for return in videos
Note surfaces stating Maoists abducted AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, student Suhail Aijaz. Police suspect it’s a prank.Updated: Mar 06, 2018 10:29 IST
A handwritten note claiming Maoists abducted Suhail Aijaz, a Kashmiri student of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, surfaced on Monday, adding a twist to the search for the youngster missing for more than three weeks.
The note bearing the name of CPI(Maoist) was spotted on a wall at Baramunda bus stand, about 3 km from AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, where Aijaz is in the second year of his MBBS course.
“We (Maoists) have kidnapped Suhail. Release our leader Sabyasachi Panda and take back Suhail. Else, be prepared for any eventuality,” stated the note in Odia.
Police suspect the note is a prank, said Bhubaneswar deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi. “We are examining it,” he added.
Panda’s wife Subhashree too said the note was mischievous. “Somebody played a mischief and tried to mislead the police,” she said. Incidentally, the Maoists expelled Panda in 2012. Odisha police arrested him in July 2014 and he is in judicial custody since then.
HT was the first to report about the missing Kashmiri student.
Aijaz left his hostel on February 9 after telling his friends he was going to attend a wedding in Chandigarh, said police. He told them he would return by February 16. After he did not return, the institute’s officials discovered a letter in his room addressed to his father, Aijaz Ahmed, and friends that stated he was sorry for not measuring up to their expectations.
AIIMS officials intimated police on February 18. Aijaz’s mobile phone was last tracked to Howrah railway station in Kolkata. “The phone has been switched off since then,” said Bhoi.
Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissioner YB Khurania said teams were sent to West Bengal, but they did not get any clues. “We have given his photographs to railway police and other police stations in Bengal. We hope he comes back,” said Khurania.
Father shares video appeal
Aijaz’s father, a schoolteacher in Kupwara, landed in Bhubaneswar more than a fortnight ago. He has shared two videos of his wife Shaheen Begum appealing to Aijaz to come back. “I will not touch food or water till you come back,” she says in the videos.
Ahmed said he had stopped speculating about his son. “I will have to go back to Kupwara soon. I just hope he sees the video messages of his mother, who is fasting. I hope he comes back and does whatever he likes in life. We don’t want anything from him,” he said. Ahmed had earlier said Aijaz was the most gifted among his six children.
Police antenna up
Police are closely monitoring the case in the light of a Kashmiri student from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Mannan Wani, disappearing and reportedly ending up with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen in January.
A picture of Wani, 26, a geology research scholar at AMU, holding a grenade launcher went viral on social media. The text on the picture said Wani hailed from Lolab area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, and his code was “Hamzah Bhai”.
Aijaz’s disappearance has caught the eye of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). “We have given all information that the NIA and IB officials sought about him,” Dr Prabhas Ranjan Mishra, vice-dean of AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, had said earlier.