The son of senior separatist leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, who was recently appointed as successor by hardline leader Syed Geelani of his Tehreek-e-Hurriyat party, has reportedly joined the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen.
The picture of Junaid Ashraf Sehrai, 26, wearing a skull cap and carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition pouch went viral on Saturday. The photo caption read “Junaid Ashraf, who has a Master’s degree in business administration from Kashmir University, has been code-named Amaar Bhai.”Junaid had gone missing on Friday from Barzulla area of Srinagar after offering Friday prayers. He is a resident of Jehangir Colony in Srinagar’s Baghat area.
His family members had registered a missing report at Saddar police station in uptown Srinagar on Saturday. The complaint states that Junaid had left home to attend Friday prayers and later had also to visit city centre Lal Chowk to get his mobile phone repaired.
Junaid holds Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Kashmir University.Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir S P Pani told The New Indian Express that police has registered a missing complaint and launched investigation. He said police was verifying whether the youth had joined militant group.
Director General of Police S P Vaid has termed Junaid’s joining militancy as unfortunate. He has urged the parents of Junaid to make an appeal to their son to return home.
Junaid’s father is a close aide of Geelani and both had formed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat after differences with Jamaat-e-Islami.It is the first time that son of a senior separatist leader has joined militant ranks in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been witnessing militancy since 1989.
Old-timers fear that Junaid’s joining militancy is likely to give “boost” to militancy and may lure more educated youth to the path of militancy.A PhD scholar Manan Wani hailing from Kupwara, who was studying in Aligarh Muslim University, had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in January.