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Police clueless, family anxious as Kashmiri student missing from Sharda University for five days

On October 4, he was roughed up by a group of students who mistook him as an Afghan during a recent clash between Indian and Afghan students at Sharda University campus in Greater Noida. Police had lodged a first information report against 350 students of Sharda University for rioting

india Updated: Nov 02, 2018 12:56 IST
Vaibhav Jha and Ashiq Hussain
Vaibhav Jha and Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Greater Noida/ Srinagar
Sharda university missing case,Kasmiri student missing
Ehtisham Bilal, a native of Khanyar in downtown Srinagar, had shifted to Greater Noida three months ago after enrolling in Sharda University and was living in the varsity’s hostel at the Knowledge Park area in Greater Noida.(HT Photo)

Five days after a 17-year-old Kashmiri student went missing from a private university in Greater Noida, both Noida and Jammu and Kashmir Police remain clueless regarding his whereabouts, as the boy’s last location was traced to Jammu on Sunday.

Earlier, there were speculations that the cell phone of Ehtisham Bilal, a first year student of Bachelor in Medical Imaging Technology (BMIT) in Sharda University, was traced to Kashmir. However J-K Police said that they are still ascertaining the information.

“The actual missing report has been field in Greater Noida. We are in touch with police there. There are reports of his location in Kashmir. It has not been ascertained as yet. We are making efforts to search him,” said station house officer of Khanyar police station, Parvez Ahmad.

Bilal, a native of Khanyar in downtown Srinagar, had shifted to Greater Noida three months ago after enrolling in Sharda University and was living in the varsity’s hostel at the Knowledge Park area in Greater Noida.

On October 4, he was roughed up by a group of students who mistook him as an Afghan during a recent clash between Indian and Afghan students at Sharda University campus in Greater Noida. Police had lodged a first information report against 350 students of Sharda University for rioting.

At around 10.30 am on Sunday (October 28), he reportedly informed his father that he was going on a ‘sight seeing’ trip to Delhi. At 4.39 pm, he again told him that he was about to board a Metro from Delhi to Noida. However, according to Noida Police, his call details showed his location in Delhi till 12 pm and in Jammu by 2.30 pm, thereby rising speculations that he caught a flight from Delhi.

Noida Police said that they are scanning through the call details of Bilal’s cell phone to ascertain who all he spoke to in the last few days before his ‘disappearance’.

“Looking at the call details, we can say for sure that his last phone call was made to his father Bilal Ahmad in Srinagar at 4.39 pm on Sunday. Apart from his father, he also made a few short spanned calls to his friends, but nothing suspicious was found. We are still probing the case,” said Arvind Pathak, station house officer, Knowledge Park police station.

J&K police have also been looking into people who have been visiting Ehtisham in Kashmir. Sajad Shah, superintendent of police, north Srinagar, said he was not sure of any militancy connection of the missing boy.

“He was friends with a youth Fahad Waza who joined militancy and was killed in an encounter at Fateh Kadal on October 17,” said Shah.

SHO Parvez Ahmad also said that so far, no militancy connection has come to the fore.

Meanwhile, Ehtisham’s parents held a sit-in at Press Colony in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk area, a day after the boy’s mother Irfana made an emotional video appeal, urging him to return home and saying that he should be “allowed to go if he is with anybody”.

His father Bilal Ahmed said that Ehtisham had invited them to the campus on Diwali holidays starting November 3. “Me and my wife were planning to spend some days with him,” he said.

Bilal said they were trying to involve police to get CCTV footage of Srinagar airport to confirm reports that he had come to the city. But airport security officials said they had not received any request from police concerned for the footage.

First Published: Nov 02, 2018 12:22 IST