Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has filed a “missing report” for research scholar Mannan Bashir Wani who has reportedly joined the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit.
A photo of Wani, a resident of Kashmir’s Kupwara district, holding what appeared to be an automatic assault rifle, had gone viral on social media earlier this month. According to the photograph’s caption, Wani joined the militant group on January 5 and his code name is Hamzah Bhai.
Wani, who was pursuing a doctorate in applied geology after completing his masters and MPhil in geology from AMU, had gone missing after leaving Aligarh for home.
AMU proctor, Mohsin Khan, said that a missing person’s report has been lodged by provost of the varsity’s Habib hall hostel where the PhD scholar was staying, according to The Times of India(ToI).
He also said that a police team from Wani’s hometown in Kupwara had visited him and collected the scholar’s academic records. The officers also spoke to some other students and the provost of Habib hall.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Aligarh, Rajesh Pandey, said the complaint filed by the varsity authorities mention that Wani has been missing since January 2. The complaint states that in case Wani is caught for being involved in illegal activities, AMU will not be responsible for the same, added SSP Pandey.
He had last visited his department on January 2. After reports of his joining the Hizb surfaced on social media, AMU authorities had expelled him immediately and also constituted a two-member committee to prepare a report on his conduct. A team of Aligarh police had earlier searched Wani’s hostel room after his disappearance and seized some clothes, documents and other items.
Inspector general of police (IGP), Kashmir, Munir Khan told ToI that a team had been sent to collect the details of what all has been recovered from Wani’s hostel room. He said that the team also made inquiries from Wani’s professors and batch mates.
Before his disappearance, Wani had months before recounted on social media how he was mocked and harassed by government forces in Kashmir.
The AMU student “was pushed to militancy by an event last year when he was harassed by armed forces on his way to Srinagar,” a news18.com report quoted a close friend of Mannan as saying.
“He was rattled by that incident. He shared with me how he was harassed, but I never knew Mannan will take such an extreme step,” the friend said.
The incident the friend was talking about reportedly took place in November 2017 when Wani, on way to Srinagar from his home in Kupwara, was “harassed” by the armed forces, according to the report.
A day later, Wani himself recounted the incident on Facebook, saying the vehicle he was travelling in was stopped four times by forces and he had to get down and prove his identity every time.
“The most disgusting thing was when an ordinary SOG personnel donning black uniform posed questions like ‘why had I grown such long hair, why didn’t I trim my beard if intend to look smart, why do I wear long boots, why do I wear a shawl in such a young age? (sic)” Wani wrote.
Wani further wrote how an army officer mocked him for his “resemblance” with a militant commander.
“On this disgusting day, the best moment happened when I got a compliment from the Indian Army officer (who also checked my identity card, but spared me from getting down from the car) about my looks resembling the famous Commander, who has given them sleepless nights, and me passing a gentle smile without uttering a single word (sic),” he wrote.