Kashmir News Bureau
In a major blow to efforts of the security agencies to keep educated youth away from the influence of gun, a scholar studying at the world famed Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), who was on vacation at his home in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, has become the latest entrant in militant ranks and has send shocking waves among his friends.
Kashmir awakened to this development after a photo surfaced on social media, showing the youngster armed with an automatic rifle, having joined the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.
Mannan Bashir Wani, 25, a resident of North Kashmir’s Takipora village in Lolab, Kupwara, was pursuing a doctorate in Geology at AMU, and was scheduled to return home three days ago but failed to turn up. Instead, a photo of him went viral on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, showing him posing calmly with what looked like a grenade launcher-cum-assault rifle.
Earlier, the Inspector General of Jammu and Kashmir Police had said the force could not confirm whether Wani had indeed joined the Hizbul Mujahideen and had expressed caution, saying the photos in question could be photoshopped. Mannan is a resident of the Takipora village in Kashmir’s Kupwara and was pursuing a Ph.D. in geology from AMU.
Pertinently, his decision to join militant ranks has shocked the people of Kashmir both in the online and real world. Advocate Iftikhar Ahmad in his Facebook post wrote –“No doubt a Ph.D. scholar, an M.Phil scholar or a religious scholar taking to arms is a big challenge and embarrassment for India. But in last 27 years many scholars opted for arms and got martyred, the result was in political field substandard material was left. Scholars like Mannan wani should be preserved so that they can fill the political vacuum and intellectual leadership rather than getting consumed by bullets too early.”
Writer, Social Activist Sajid Yousuf wrote on Facebook – “Ph.D. Scholar Manan Wani, joining a militant organization is really sad news for us all. He was very humble, cooperative and lovable person.”
“But we can’t deny the fact, why he joined the militant ranks – Before a month he was assaulted and dragged at 5 places by forces while he was on his way to home he even mentioned the whole story on his Facebook timeline.”
“Brother Manan your pen was more powerful than this gun which you are holding right now. I always admire you as my brother and I still remember when you met me last time you told me Sajid You are doing a superb job, keep writing and do good in politics you can bring the change. We need people like you but today you yourself dropped the pen which makes me totally upset since last night when I heard the news about you. Brother, please come back I promise we will together bring the change with a pen. Our pen is more powerful than gun and sword.”
Meanwhile, Aligarh Muslim University has suspended Mannan Wani. “Wani stands suspended until the further probe is carried out into his disappearance and into social media photos that show him holding an AK-47 rifle,” Said Prof. Mohd. Mohsin Khan, the proctor.