kashmir, sabzar ahmad sofi, nowgam gunfight, encounter, kulgam
Sabzar Ahmad Sofi, IAS aspirant and PhD scholar turned militant who was killed in a gunfight in the outskirts of Srinagar on 24 October 2018.

Among the two militants killed today in Nowgam area of Central Kashmir, one was Sabzar Ahmad Sofi, who was an IAS aspirant and a PhD scholar, as per reports.

On Wednesday midnight, an encounter started in the outskirts of Srinagar, when the government forces exchanged gunfire with the trapped militants. By the morning, both the militants were killed, and the house turned into a pile of debris.

According to reports, thousands have already of gathered outside the house of Sofi in the Naina area of Sangam in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district as the news of him being killed reached his home.

But who was Sabzar Ahmad Sofi?

Sofi was preparing for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and had joined Jamia Milia Islamia university in PhD program before he joined the militancy in 2016, as per the family.

However, Jamia Milia University has refuted the reports of Sofi being part of the university in any program.

Being good at academics, Sofi had completed range of degrees before joining the militancy. He had completed his M. Phil. from Jivagee University in Gwalior, M.Sc. from Barkatulla University in Bhopal, Bachelors in Education and B.Sc. from Government Degree College in Anantnag.

Among these degrees, he had also qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).

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After popular rebel commander Burhan Wani was killed on 8 July 2016, Sofi had left home for Delhi to continue his classes at the Jamia Milia Islamia University, and also coaching classes for IAS.

Bashir Ahmad, Sofi’s father, searched for him for next three months as there was no contact from their son. The family believed that Sofi was in Delhi, continuing his education but to their surprise he wasn’t.

“In October 2016, we got shocked when an army officer came our home to tell us that our son had joined militant ranks. However, nobody among us believed what the army officer said,” his father told The Kashmiriyat recently.

Sofi has three brothers and a sister.

The family hadn’t believed that Sofi, a calm and down to earth person, had really joined the militants. But it was only when the same Army officer had come again to show them a video in which Sofi was walking with other associate militants in a forest while holding an AK 47 rifle.

At his home in Sangam, men, women and children have been coming from various adjacent areas to attend his funeral procession.

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