After Rizwan’s custodial killing, friend joins militants

Kashmir , Shahid Manzoor
Shahid Manzoor

After the custodial killing of Awantipora based school principal, Rizwan Asad Pandit, his friend, Shahid Manzoor has picked up arms and joined armed-group Hizbul Mujaheddin, fearing physical and mental torture by government forces, as he states, “Today, it was Rizwan, tomorrow it could be me.”

A picture of Mr. Manzoor, son of Manzoor Ahmad, a resident of New Colony, Jawbara area of Awantipora, Pulwama has gone viral on social media. He went missing on Monday, a day after Mr. Pandit was picked from his home.

In an audio, in which reportedly Mr. Manzoor can be heard saying, “When I heard about the killing of my friend, I decided to join militant ranks as I was aware that today it is Rizwan and tomorrow it may be with me.”

Allegedly, Mr. Manzoor was picked up, alongside Mr. Pandit, last year by government forces, “where we were subject to physical and mental torture at the hands of forces,” he is heard saying in the audio message.

He also pointed out people, who are hoping for justice and proper investigation in the custodial killing of Mr. Pandit, saying, “who believe that there will be investigation are in daydream,” and added that the probes and investigations are mere eyewash as no one got justice in Kashmir in last 30 years.

As he says in the viral audio message, he was reluctant of the views of “those who pick up guns, but now, I have realised that they are on the right track.”

Asking for forgiveness from his family, Mr. Manzoor said, “I had no other option available for me else joining armed struggle.”

An official confirmed also confirmed to a Valley-based media house that Mr. Manzoor was missing since last few days and a report was filed on 18 March and “we are checking the authenticity of his photo and audio.”

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