Srinagar: One among three militants killed in Mujgund area of Srinagar on Sunday was a theatre artist and had even done a brief role in a Bollywood movie Haider, reported a national paper.
Saqib Bilal and Mudasir Parray, a Class 9 student from Hajin Bandipora, were killed along with a Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba militant in an 18-hour gun battle with government forces in Mujgund on the outskirts of Srinagar on December 9.
“Both the boys had left their homes on August 31 and Bilal’s family is at a loss to understand why he joined militancy. They looked everywhere and his mother even brought an amulet from a faith healer for her son’s safety,” the report said.
“For more than a month, we went to places to find them. Ultimately, we realised the unthinkable,” Hindustan Times quoted Asim Aijaz, Bilal’s maternal uncle, as having said.
“He had an interest in engineering. We could never understand why he joined. In fact, he left home on the day to buy some groceries. People had seen the two boys riding behind a third person on a bike,” according to report Aijaz said.
“Bilal had cleared his Class 10 with a distinction and was studying physics, chemistry, and maths in Class 11. He was a football aficionado and had even played taekwondo and kabaddi. The other boy belonged to a poor family and Saqib came from a well to do farming family,’said the report.
The report quoted Bilal’s family as having said he had an interest in acting and had done a small role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie Haider.
“He was in his sixth class when he appeared for two brief shots in Haider which have appeared in the film. In one of the shots he appeared as a ‘chocolate boy’ and in another, he acted of surviving a violent incident in a bus,” Aijaz said.
The uncle said the boy was a theatre artist as well.
“Before his Haider stint, he appeared in a stage show ‘Weath chi Yeahi (This is the river)’ at Tagore Hall in which he was the protagonist. He managed to get an award and even went to Odisha to repeat the performance,” Aijaz said.
The report quoted Police officials as having said the two teenagers joined militants immediately after they disappeared.
The only reason Bilal’s family could find was an encounter between militants and security forces a day before their disappearance in Hajin. “Some militants had been killed and people went to see the ruined place,” a newspaper quoted Asim as having said.
“The death of the two boys has triggered anger and grief in Kashmir. People not only questioned the militants for allowing minors in their ranks but have also castigated the government forces for going for the kill when minors were involved,” a national daily reported.