Missing brother of IPS officer may have joined militancy

Missing brother of IPS officer may have joined militancy

In an incident which could set alarm bells for the security establishment in Kashmir, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer’s brother in southern Shopian district has reportedly joined militant ranks.

Local news agency GNS, quoting sources, said Shamsul Haq Mengnoo son of Mohammad Rafiq Mengnoo, a resident of Draggud village in Shopian has gone missing since May 26.

“We have apprehensions that the youth may have joined militancy, as his whereabouts are not known hitherto,” the agency quoting an unnamed official said.

Shamsul Haq, who is pursuing Bachelors of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) from a government college in Srinagar, is the brother of a Kashmiri IPS officer, who has been allotted outside Jammu and Kashmir cadre.

Police maintain that the family of the missing youth has not reported the incident with the police station concerned yet.

“We are looking into all angles and if it happens that the youth has joined militant ranks, we will utilize all resources to get him back,” a senior police officer said.

At least 60 militants

According to unconfirmed reports at least 60 locals, including an assistant professor, an MBA pass-out and a PhD scholar, have joined militancy till May 31 this year.

This unusual surge in numbers has taken the security establishment by surprise.

The local militants, who joined the ranks this year, include 26-year-old Junaid Ashraf Sehrai, an MBA degree holder from Kashmir University, and son of Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, who took over as chairman of Tehrek-e-Hurriyat from Syed Ali Shah Geelani earlier this year.

The list also includes a 26-year-old PhD scholar Mannan Bashir Wani hailing from Kupwara, who was studying in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and Prof Mohammad Rafi Bhat, who was teaching Sociology at Kashmir University and was killed just 36-hours after he joined Hizbul Mujahideen in May this year.

Southern districts of Shopian and Kulgam, which have emerged as a bastion of new-age militancy in Kashmir, have the highest number of local militants.

Security officials maintain that every funeral of a local militant spawns at least two additions to the ranks of militant groups. This has spurred a new security concern in the Valley.