Police arrest missing Kashmiri student reported to have joined militant outfit, say ‘brought back into mainstream’

File photo.

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested Ehtisham Bilal, who was reported to have been seen with an ISIS flag in a picture that went viral on social media a month ago.

Ehtisham Bilal, who went missing after being beaten up in Sharda University in Noida-NCR on 4 October, was seen with militant outfit, ISIS’s flag and an AK-47 in social media posts. Ehtisham had been missing since 28 October.

According to a report by Kashmir Reader, police arrested him in Khanyar neighbourhood, where he resided.

Police officially announced his arrest and appealed for withholding his name.

“With the help of family and #police an individual (name withheld) has been brought back to the mainstream. Further details shall follow,” police said.

Though no reason was cited for withholding the name, it is reportedly to make him lead a smooth life after quitting militancy.

A report by PTI stated that a senior Police official said he had not been detained. “We are human too. We support the parents of the young man. There is no case registered against him and he has been taken only for medical assistance required. The family members are with him,” the official said.

Purportedly, an audio on social media, showing Ehtisham’s photograph with ISIS flag and him talking about how he was beaten up in Delhi had circulated on social media.

“This is a message to all who consider Jihad is a way of fighting,” he had reportedly said in the audio. “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 on social media had showed Sofi dressed in a black outfit and claimed he had joined militant group ISJK, an outfit influenced by ISIS ideology.

On 4 October, Ehtisham was physically assaulted in clashes between two groups of students at Sharda University, where he was a first-year student of bachelors in Medical Imaging Technology (BMIT). He was beaten so severely that even blood oozed out from his nose and mouth, eyewitnesses had said.

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