Srinagar: In 2008 when Kashmir witnessed a mass uprising against the land transfer to the Amarnath Shrine board, Zeenatul Islam, then 20, was arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA) by the state police for working as over ground worker (OGW) for militants.
A resident of Sugan Zanipura area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district, Islam was alleged to be in touch with many militant outfits and was facilitating them.
Talking to The Kashmir Walla over phone, his father, Ghulam Hassan Shah said: “He is my eldest son and has 3-years-old daughter at home. He was arrested in 2008 and later he joined militancy. Since then we rarely had his idea. Even, today an army officer called me to contact my son and tell him to surrender before them. I responded him that how can I?”
Islam had three other siblings and his father is a farmer. He was imprisoned for three years and was released in 2011.
At that time the valley had witnessed two mass uprisings in which more than 375 civilians were killed. Majority of them getting killed during protests at the hands of the government forces.
The situation had created chaos and anger among people. Since then, young boys, mostly educated ones have been taking the path of militancy in large numbers despite getting killed in anti-militancy operations.
Although, Kashmir valley has witnessed a surge in militant recruitment, it is the southern part of the valley that has seen huge number of youth taking the path of gun.
Islam was one among the many to have chosen the similar path.
He joined Lashkar-eToiba (LeT), a militant outfit operated from Pakistan in November 2015 and later switched to Al-Badr.
Before joining militancy, he was helping his father economically and were struggling to pay the bills.
In between, he completed his Bachelors in Arts and got married.
Considered as an Improvised explosive device (IED) expert, Islam joined militant ranks in 2015. He was now commander of Al Badr outfit.
A key recruiters Zeenat was one of three militants surviving from Army’s list of 12 most wanted militants. Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind chief Zakir Musa is number one.
Islam is said to be one of the accused in the Shopian deadly attack carried by the militants in 23 February 2017, in which three forces personnel and one woman was killed.
Today, after four years he survived as a militant, Islam along with his associate was killed in a brief gunfight with governmnet forces at Kathpora Yaripora of Kulgam district.