Published: 09th January 2018
Aligarh Muslim University draws social media ire after PhD student joins Hizbul Mujhaideen
Several testimonies and even reports have attributed this sudden shift to join militancy to incidents of violence or abuse with the Indian armed forces living in the valley
A picture of a student brandishing a barrel grenade launcher went viral on social media — Kashmir's Kupwara resident Mannan Wani, a scholar from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was all over the news after he joined a terrorist outfit. A quiet boy, smart, active and at the top of his class has left all his family shocked after Facebook and Whatsapp forwards show the picture with a message claiming he joined the dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen on January 5.
Wani was a PhD student of Applied Geology at the AMU, according to his family and his sudden decision has left them both brokenhearted and determined to get him back. The University was quick to cut Wani off, discouraging the act deemed 'anti-national', with an attempt to protect and safeguard its students.
Meanwhile, social media wasted no time in rearing its vicious head and attacking not just Wani and Kashmir but also AMU. Trolls are like a drug to the millennial social media user and as the news spread, the tweets and posts grew in size and bitterness. Here are a few:
As expected, the hate wasn't far behind.
Amid all this, surprisingly several comments on Facebook were a return-call to Mannan.
Return again: Come back brother, there is a lot of time. Remember your family and friends... once your hand is smeared with the blood of your own, you will not be able to return
Come back: This is no Jihad if your family is not happy, do jihad on the lines of good. Educate the poor and help them. Our teachings do not allow us to embrace weapons. We will fight surely, not against the nation but against those thieving and bring a bad name to the nation
Of course, there were also those who aimed to chastise the fourth estate
This comes almost two months after a star Footballer from Anantag - Majid Khan - had suddenly joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. Social media was trending with pictures of his grief-stricken family pleading with him to come back. A week later, he returned.
Mannan's family are hopeful and the police have promised to try their best to get him back if he indeed has chosen the path of Jihad. Kashmir has been plagued with the epidemic- one where young boys starting at 15 or later cross over the mountains to train under militants often on the other side of the border. Every month, though unrecorded or kept on the down-low, at least five boys crossover in a bid to start a clean slate and perform their Islamic duty.