Sharda Uni Student Who ‘Joined J&K IS’ Returns Home, Detained

Ehtisham Bilal Sofi was reported missing after he was beaten up during an ethnic clash at Sharda University in Oct. 

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Ehtisham Bilal Sofi.
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A Sharda University student, who had reportedly joined a militant group, returned to his home in Kashmir on Sunday, 2 December. He was detained by the police after his return, his family told India Today.

Ehtisham Bilal Sofi was reported missing in October and he later appeared on social media posts, which claimed that he had joined the Islamic State Jammu & Kashmir (ISJK).

The incident was reported weeks after the teenager, 17, was allegedly beaten up in an ethnic clash between Indian and Afghani students at the Sharda University in Greater Noida.

Returned Home and Detained

"He arrived home today but was picked up by the police," Ehtisham’s father Bilal Ahmed Sofi told The Times of India.

Local daily Greater Kashmir quoted Bilal as saying:

“He (my son) returned home but the police arrived soon and detained him. Ehtisham was bleeding and needs to be taken to a hospital first.”
Bilal Ahmed Sofi, as told to Greater Kashmir

A police officer confirmed that Ehtisham was detained after his return. Reports quoting police officials said Ehtisham was being kept in “preventive custody and had not been arrested.”

Meanwhile, Kashmir Police said on Twitter that an individual (name withheld) has been brought back "to the mainstream.”

Ehtisham ‘Roughed Up’ at Sharda University

On 1 October, clashes had broken out between Indian and Afghani students at the university in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Ehtisham was allegedly roughed up by a group of students after he was mistaken for an Afghan national.

On 28 October, Ehtisham went missing from Sharda University where he was pursuing his Bachelors in Medical Imaging Technology (BIMT).

Parents’ Appeal to Authorities, Militants

The Kashmiri student’s parents had pleaded to the authorities to search for Ehtisham after social media posts claimed that he had joined militancy. Ehtisham’s mother had told Scroll, “For God’s sake, please return my Ahtisham to me. We don’t have any other son in our family. I appeal to every militant group to help me in getting my son back.”

(With inputs from The Times of India, Greater Kashmir and Scroll.)

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