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Social media images ‘show’ missing Assam man as Hizbul militant

Assam police, however, are wary that the images could be photoshopped and are investigating the social media buzz.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2018 22:43 IST
Sadiq Naqvi and Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Sadiq Naqvi and Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Guwahati, Jammu
Missing Assamese man,Hizbul militant,Hizbul Mujahideen
Zaman is around 38 years old, married, and the couple has a child, according to his family.(Shutterstock/Representative image )

Photographs of a man from Assam missing since July last year have surfaced on social media claiming he has joined Kashmir’s home-grown militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, police said on Monday.

According to the Assam police, the man in the photographs is Qamar uz Zaman, who went from Hojai district in Assam to Jammu in 2012 to sell garments. His mother, Tahera Khatoon, identified him from the photographs, which show him brandishing an assault rifle and state his code name is Dr Hurairah.

Assam police, however, are wary that the images could be photoshopped and are investigating the social media buzz.

Assam director general of police (DGP) Mukesh Sahay said the information was being verified in coordination with Jammu and Kashmir police and central intelligence agencies.

Hojai superintendent of police (SP) Ankur Jain said Zaman’s family members claimed that after he went missing, they got relatives in Jammu region’s Kishtwar district to lodge a missing person report with the local police. Jain said Zaman’s family members claimed he last spoke to them on July 10, 2017.

Jammu and Kashmir police, however, has no such report. “There is no missing report with us. We checked with the Kishtwar police chief. They don’t have any such report,” said SP Vaid, DGP, Jammu and Kashmir. “His photo is there on social media... it is fake or forged, I can’t say for sure,” Vaid added.

Assam news channels picked up on the social media buzz and reported Zaman may have travelled to the US and Bangladesh. A senior police officer associated with the case, however, said it was certain he had not travelled to the US. “We are verifying if he travelled to Bangladesh,” said the officer, who did not want to be named.

Zaman’s mother told journalists in Hojai the government should “shoot him dead” if he had joined the militant outfit. “I won’t mind. If he has become anti-national, I don’t want him back. I will give in writing that I don’t want such a son,” said Tahera Khatoon.

Zaman is around 38 years old, married, and the couple has a child, according to his family. Zaman’s wife and a child live with his mother in Hojai.

His elder brother, Saif-Ul-Islam, a businessman, said missing person reports had been given to the police in Kishtwar and Hojai. He said the family had shared copies of both reports with Hojai police. “I don’t think he has joined any outfit. We got to know of it when local channels landed at our house this morning,” said Islam.

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 22:43 IST