Missing Kashmiri student joins militancy, appears in ISIS video

Kashmiri student - ehtisham bilal
Ehtisham Bilal, a Sharda University student, joined Islamic State (IS) inspired militant outfit.

Kashmiri student Ehtisham Bilal, who was missing after being beaten up by students in Sharda University in Noida-NCR on 4 October has reportedly joined militant ranks after returning to Valley as few days ago.

Ehtisham Bilal, 23, is a resident of Srinagar’s Khanyar area who was missing since 28 October, has joined Islamic State inspired militant group in Kashmir. Before he had gone missing, one of his family members said that he had called his cousin brother, also a student at the Sharda University that he was boarding a metro and that he will reach the hostel by 8:30 pm.

“He didn’t reach the hostel. We have no idea who kidnapped him. We have no idea if any agency has picked him up. We want to know where our son is,” said father of missing student.

On Friday, a video circulated on social media, showing Ehtisham’s photograph with ISIS flag and him talking about how he was beaten up in Delhi (The authenticity of the audio couldn’t be verified from other sources yet).

“This is a message to all who consider Jihad is a way of fighting,” he says in the audio. “Our blood is not white, we will give you tears of blood. I was looking into the eyes of those kufaar (non-Muslims) when they attacked me in groups like dogs, I felt I had delayed to be part of Jihad for long. But not anymore.”

On 4 October, Ehtisham was assaulted in clashes between two groups of students at Sharda University, where he was a first-year student of bachelors in Medical Imaging Technology (BMIT). He was beaten so severely that even blood oozed out from his nose and mouth, eyewitnesses had said.

After the incident he was left injured at a hospital, where his father had visited to see him. Later the father had returned after being assured by local authorities of his safety.

His family members and relatives had staged a protest demonstration at Press Enclave on Thursday demanding his whereabouts. The protesters, including women and children, raised pro-justice slogans and demanded immediate recovery of the missing youth.

“On Sunday, he went for an outing to New Delhi. Throughout the day, he was in touch with his parents over the phone. He told his father that he would send him the pictures he had clicked at different places. But by the evening, his phone was switched off and he went missing,” said a relative of missing Ehtisham.

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