A 29-year-old MBA graduate in Jammu and Kashmir has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, prompting the Army to assure all possible help if he shuns the path of violence, a senior officer said.
The picture of Haroon Abbas Wani with an AK-47 rifle has gone viral on social media recently, indicating his joining the terror group on Saturday. Wani is a resident of Ghat area of Doda district and a master of business administration degree holder from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra.
His family has made a passionate appeal for his return. "The biggest jihad is to serve elderly parents. There is no need for jihad as we are happy," his aunt said in a video message, adding that his decision had left them ashamed. "Your mother and father have fallen sick and they need you very badly. Please return."
His uncle, Farooq Ahmad Wani, said he was very good at studies and gave no inkling of his joining the terror group ever. He was working in a private company in Jammu and "we are unable to understand who lured him into this path".
Commenting on the issue, Maj. Gen. Rajiv Nanda, general officer commanding (GOC), Delta Force, said, "Yesterday, we came to know about Wani joining a terror group... I hope good sense will prevail upon him and he will return to the mainstream.
"If he returns, we are there to help him. We can guide him but it's he, who has to choose a path for him."
Nanda said Wani was not at his native village, but at Jammu since the last two-three years and it could not be immediately known who motivated and misguided him to join militant ranks.
"The youth belongs to an educated family and has put them to a lot of trouble (by his decision). I was moved to see the video of his ailing mother and other family members on social media, who are begging him to return back as his brother's marriage is scheduled on the 9th of this month," the army officer said.
Wani is the second youth joining terror ranks from Doda over the past three months. In July, 25-year-old Abid Hussain Bhat had joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit and got killed along with another militant in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district later that month.
Nanda rejected possibilities of the incident influencing other youths, saying it was a "stray incident". "Although we are keeping a close eye on the recent development but there are no reports that it has impacted overall scenario or influenced any other youth."