The Hizbul Mujahideen on Sunday released the picture of an IPS officer’s brother shown holding an assault rifle and sporting a holstered pistol who has reportedly joined the terror outfit.
The younger brother of an IPS officer of the Northeast cadre had joined the terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen after disappearing from his Kashmir university campus on 22nd may this year. 25-year-old, Shams-Ul-Haq Mengnoo, originally hailing from Draggud village of South Kashmir Sophian district, was pursuing bachelor’s course in Unani medicine.
Along with the photograph of Mengnoo, the Hizb released pictures of a dozen new recruits on social media to coincide with the death anniversary of their slain commander, Burhan Wani. The pictures released included a dozen names from south Kashmir’s Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag and Pulwama, four from north Kashmir’s Kupwara, Handwara, and Baramulla, and one from central Kashmir’s Budgam.
Samsul’s elder brother is a 2012 batch, IPS officer, posted in the Northeast.
SP Shailendra Kumar Mishra, since transferred from Shopian, had on 28th June told Hindustan Times about possibilities that Shams-Ul-Haq may have joined the militants.
A senior officer said it was all part of propaganda from the militants’ side. “It is part of their activity to release such pictures particularly when they were not able to make any impact on Wani’s second death anniversary,” the officer said, wishing not to be named.
Not very long back, one such incident of an Indian army man, Mir Idrees Sultan, who was posted in Bihar, joining the Hizbul Mujahideen had surfaced. His picture too, holding an AK47 rifle had gone viral on social media and Shopian SSP Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar had confirmed that he had joined the terrorist organization.
Earlier in July last year, it was reported that Zahoor Ahmad Thokar of 173 Territorial Army had also joined Hizbul Mujahideen. In May last year, a J&K Police member had joined the ranks in Hizbul Mujahideen. J&K Police constable Syed Naveed Mushtaq Shah had decamped with service rifles.
There has been a steady rise in the number of youth joining various terror outfits in the valley since 2014 onwards as compared to 2010-2013 when figures stood at 54, 23, 21 and 6 in the respective years. In 2014, the number shot up to 53 and in 2015, it reached 66 before touching the highest mark of 88 in 2016, the data showed, according to news agency PTI.
In 2017, a total of 126 youths were reported to have taken up arms. The numbers indicated that 81 youths had already joined until May this year.