Jammu and Kashmir: Missing student who joined militancy comes home after emotional appeal from family

Srinagar: Passionate appeals by family members yielded results as Ethesham Bilal, a Jammu and Kashmir student pursuing engineering at a Noida-based university, who had reportedly joined the banned Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) terror outfit, returned home Sunday afternoon. The Jammu and Kashmir Police, without mentioning the name of any individual, tweeted, "With the help of family and #police an individual (name withheld) has been brought back to the mainstream. Further details shall follow."

File image of Jammu and Kashmir Police. PTI

File image of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel. PTI

A resident of Khanyar in downtown Srinagar city, the 20-year-old Ehtesham showed up on social networking sites wearing a black turban and black pathan suit with ammunition pouch tied to his chest amid a Islamic State flag on his back. He disappeared from his university in Noida in middle of October. The news of his disappearance had left the family shell-shocked and they knocked every door possible to convince him to return. The police, as a good will gesture, had assured every possible assistance to ensure the return of their son.

Pictures of family members with folded hands splashed in local newspapers with a request for Ethesham to return home "at least to shoulder the coffin of his parents" earlier last month had motivated the young man to approach his family. His parents made passionate appeals to militant groups to send home their son, who was studying B.Tech at the Sharda university in Noida. They stated "he is the only son in entire Sofi clan and should be allowed to join back his family."

His father Bilal Sofi was quoted in the appeal as saying "My son, you used to say heaven lies beneath the feet of parents, so come and live with us again." These appeals and back channel negotiations finally yielded results when he returned to his house this afternoon. Immediately, a police team took him to an undisclosed location for providing medical help.
A senior police official rubbished the claims that he had been detained.

"We are human too. We support the parents of the young man. There is no case registered against him and he has been taken only for medical assistance required. The family members are with him," the official said.

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Updated Date: Dec 02, 2018 22:51:53 IST

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