Jammu and Kashmir police today said that after the killing of a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant in a gunfight at Ranbirgarh, Lawaypora area on Srinagar outskirts, on Saturday, no resident of the summer capital is active in the militant ranks.
“After the killing of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Ishfaq Rashid Khan, no resident of Srinagar district is in militant ranks now,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar in a tweet on J-K police’s official twitter handle.
The announcement comes even as a PhD scholar from Srinagar’s Bemina area, Hilal Ahmad Dar, who remains missing since 13 June. Mr. Kumar had said, on 23 June, at the wreath-laying ceremony of a killed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper at the Regional Training Centre Humhama, that the missing youth has joined militant ranks.
Mr. Dar’s family had staged a protest and strongly refuted Mr. Kumar’s claim stating that their son had no inclination with the militancy. The protestors had raised slogans in demand of tracking down Mr. Dar, where the placards in their hands, read: ‘Save Hilal Find Him’ ‘Requesting Concerned To Step Up Efforts To Find Hilal’ ‘The Family Is In Distress’ ‘Unite Hilal With Family’ and ‘Stop Rumours About Hilal’.
“Not listed as a militant”
A local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), reported quoting an unnamed senior police officer that the police has not listed the missing Mr. Dar in the militant category. “We have not listed him as a militant yet as more verification is needed,” he said.
On 13 June, Mr. Dar, a resident of Housing Colony Bemina, who was pursuing PhD in Management studies, went missing after going on trekking in the hills of Naranag in Ganderbal district of Central Kashmir. Whereas four of his friends returned home, Mr. Dar didn’t. Since then his family members, especially his uncles, have been moving from pillar to post to track Mr. Dar.
Talking to KNO, Mr. Dar’s uncle, Nisar Ahmed, said that after today’s police statement, their claim stands vindicated. “Even today, we had gone to Naranag to look for our son,” he said. “We walked right up to the stop where the friends of our son had spotted Hilal last time. We request that the police now help us track our son.” (KNO)