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'Your ailing mother cannot live without you,' family tells Ehtisham Bilal, missing Kashmiri student who joined Islamic State

Family members of a Kashmiri youth Ehtisham Bilal, who has purportedly joined the Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir, appealed to their son to renounce terrorism and return home after a picture of him with the terrorist organisation's flag and an AK-47 was circulated online on Friday.

In a video message, Bilal Ahmad Sofi, father of Ehtisham Bilal (23), urged him to return home. "Islam does not allow anybody to disobey his parents. I appeal and order you to return home. Seeing you on the social media wherein you have claimed allegiance to the Islamic State of Jammu Kashmir has disturbed me. Your ailing mother cannot live without you," he said.

 Your ailing mother cannot live without you, family tells Ehtisham Bilal, missing Kashmiri student who joined Islamic State

Mother of Ehtisham Bilal, a Kashmiri student who went missing on 28 October after he was beaten up inside Sharda University's campus. News18

According to Free Press Kashmir, Sofi also pleaded to the militants, and Zakir Musa in particular, to send his son back and said, "My son is young and naive. For God’s sake send him home. Have mercy on us, Allah will bless you. This is an appeal from a helpless father."

Bilal, a student at Sharda University, a private university in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida, disappeared on 28 October, after he left the varsity with official permission to leave for Delhi, days after he was mistakenly beaten up during a scuffle between Indian and Afghan students in the college campus.

Before he went missing, one of his family members said that Bilal had called his cousin brother, another student at Sharda University, that he was boarding a metro and would reach the hostel by 8.30 pm.

When he did not return till next morning, "a missing complaint was registered in the case at the Knowledge Park police station in Greater Noida as well as at Khanyar police station in Srinagar," officials said.

On Friday, a video purportedly showing pictures of Bilal with ISI flag and also talking about how he was mercilessly beaten inside the university’s campus was circulated on social media.

"This is a message to all who consider Jihad is a way of fighting," Bilal said. "Our blood is not white, we will give you tears of blood. I was looking into the eyes of those kufaar (non-Muslims) when they attacked me in groups like dogs, I felt I had delayed to be part of Jihad for long. But not anymore."

The pictures showed Bilal dressed in a black outfit and claimed he had joined militant group Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir, an outfit influenced by Islamic State's ideology.

According to News18, on the morning he went missing, Bilal called his father asking him for some money. "He called me at around 9.30 am. He asked me for Rs 1,000, saying he had to submit Rs 400 at the university for some trip they had to go on. I immediately called a friend and deposited Rs 5,000 to his account," Sofi recalled.

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) said it has been tracking the case since 28 October and has taken cognisance of the photos.

"We are in touch with Jammu and Kashmir Police. We are tracking the footprints of the boy from Greater Noida to Kashmir," Inspector General, ATS, Asim Arun told PTI.
The officials said they were "ascertaining" Bilal's presence in the Valley. The Gautam Buddh Nagar police, who traced Bilal's mobile phone last location in militancy-hit Pulwama district in south Kashmir, is also probing the matter.

On Saturday, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his concern over Bilal reportedly taking up militancy.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 04, 2018 21:47:32 IST