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AMU expels Kashmiri research scholar Mannan Wani amid reports he joined Hizbul Mujahideen: Police say will try to bring him back

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) expelled Mannan Bashir Wani, a Kashmiri research scholar at the university, until further inquiry after reports of him joining militants in Jammu and Kashmir surfaced. The Uttar Pradesh Police also conducted raids at the AMU campus to search for the missing Kashmiri student.

Mannan, a 25-year-0ld who was pursuing his PhD in applied geology at AMU, reportedly joined Hizbul Mujahideen on 5 January. The news broke out after Mannan, who was visiting his home on a break, went missing. He was supposed to reach home on 3 January but he failed to turn up. Subsequently, photographs of him flaunting an assault rifle cum grenade launcher surfaced on social media.

Mannan joined AMU after completing Bachelors in Geology and Earth Sciences from the University of Kashmir. He had also completed his Master's and MPhil in geology from AMU. He had been studying at AMU for past four years. He also won an award for the best paper presentation at an international conference in 2016.

M. Mohsin Khan, the proctor of AMU said that Mannan regularly attended his classes and the university management had no clue about any suspicious activities the student may have indulged in, as reported by India Today TV.

Mannan Bashir Wani Hizbul: Image procured by Samir Yaseer

File image of Mannan Bashir Wani: Image procured by Sameer Yasir

The university sealed his room at the Mohammad Habib Hall, saying his "highly objectionable activities can hamper the peaceful academic atmosphere and create disharmony", a university spokesperson told IANS.

Khan also said since Mannan had breached the AMU Students Conduct and Discipline Rules, the matter was placed before Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor.

"Taking into account the gravity of the offence, the Vice Chancellor has ordered Wani to be expelled from the rolls of the University with immediate effect," said the Proctor, adding the campus and its institutions were out of bounds for Mannan from now on.

The AMU followed a policy of zero tolerance towards anti-national activities and accorded top priority to national security, the university said.

Meanwhile, his family informed the police that Mannan went missing and efforts to trace him have begun.

However, according to an India Today report, the police said it is possible that the picture was photoshopped and his last known location was New Delhi.

"He was scheduled to return home four days ago. But instead his pictures showing him with an AK-47 reached the family," a police officer said, adding that if indeed he has joined militancy, all efforts to pursuade the young man to return home will be made.

The report comes when the Jammu and Kashmir administration has been increasingly stressing upon the need to persuade and bring back young boys waylaid by extremist elements, rather than taking a tough approach against them. According to a Firstpost report, the police is using social media to expand their reach to young Kashmiris who are increasingly being attract by militant groups through the medium to join their ranks.

Mannan, a resident of Takipora village in Lolab, Kupwara, hailed from a well to do family. His father, Bashir Ahmed, is reportedly a lecturer while his brother is working as a junior engineer in the Jammu and Kashmir government. According to his father, Mannan was a student at AMU for over four years, “He was a timid boy. But an event last year when he was harassed by security forces transformed him. Our whole family is in a shock,” Bashir said. The incident took place in November 2017 when the youngster was on way to Srinagar from his home and it was described in a Facebook post by Mannan himself.

In the post, Mannan said the car was stopped four times and he had to get down and prove his identity every time. “The most disgusting thing was when an ordinary SOG personnel donning black uniform posed questions like, why had I grown such long hair, why didn't I trim my beard if intend to look smart, why do I wear long boots, why do I wear a shawl in such a young age?”

In the Facebook post, Mannan mentioned that a lady sitting next to him likened their situation to that of slaves, “On this disgusting day, the best moment happened when I got a compliment from the Indian Army officer (who also checked my identity card, but spared me from getting down from the car) about my looks resembling the famous commander, who has given them sleepless nights, and me passing a gentle smile without uttering a single word,” the young scholar wrote.

Meanwhile, his friends and family were shocked at the news and claimed they have no idea whether it is true Mannan's father said he was unable to reach his son and does not know if he has joined militancy. Inam, another Kashmiri student at AMU who knew Mannan, wrote in a Facebook post: "Picking up a gun to fight the injustice is almost suicidal here. When a young man picks up a gun here, we don't expect a new dawn of freedom, we don't sing ballads of a new revolution. Elegies are written instead, and in total resignation we await the fateful news".


Updated Date: Jan 08, 2018 20:41 PM

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