Cannot certify if Ahtesham Bilal has become terrorist: UP DGP

Lucknow: A day after social media posts claimed that a Kashmiri student has joined a terror group in the Valley, the Uttar Pradesh Police said that they cannot ascertain if the video showing him as a part of Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) is fake and has become a terrorist.

Nineteen-year-old Ahtesham Bilal Sofi is a first-year graduation student at Sharda University in Greater Noida. A resident of downtown Srinagar, Sofi reportedly went missing on October 28 after he left the varsity with official permission to visit Delhi.

“19-year-old Ahtesham Bilal is a student of the Sharda University. In October, he went to Srinagar. Later, a video surfaced showing him as a part of Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir(ISJK). We cannot certify if the video is fake or morphed, and if he has become a terrorist,” Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh said at a press conference here.

Singh informed that the matter would be further investigated by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, adding that the Uttar Pradesh Police would keep a tap on the developments that might take place either at Sharda University or in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have shared information with the Jammu and Kashmir Police. They will investigate it further. We are keeping a tap on the developments that may take place either at Sharda University (Greater Noida) or Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The social media posts showed the Kashmiri student dressed in a black outfit claiming that he had joined the terrorist group ISJK, an outfit influenced by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ideology.

Earlier in the day, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: “If this is genuine, it is hugely worrying. Sometimes seemingly small actions lead to huge consequences. If what happened to him at Sharda University has led him to choose such a destructive path it’s even more tragic. One more life on the path to ruin and one more family in turmoil.”

Some media reports claimed that a section of students in the campus had questioned Sofi’s appearance and a tiff ensued.