In what is bound to give sleepless nights to security forces, the terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen released photographs of its new recruits on the death anniversary of its poster boy Burhan Wani.
Shamasul Haq Mengnoo, the younger brother of 2012 batch IPS officer who is posted in Northeast, joined Hizbul. Shamasul was pursuing Bachelors of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) at Zakura's government college.
Hizbul claims Shamasul joined outfit before he went missing
Shamasul was missing since May 26 after which his family approached the authorities. However, details released by Hizbul suggest he joined the outfit on April 22, a month before he went missing. In the photo released, Shamasul was seen holding an assault rifle.
Separately, Senior police officer ditched department to join Hizbul
Another recruit was Senior Police Officer Irfan Rasheed Dar, who left the department to join Hizbul on May 26.
Tawseef Ahmad Thokar of Charsoon village, Pulwama, was identified as another new militant. Thokar has a Masters degree in Mathematics and a Bachelors in Education.
Reportedly, four from North Kashmir, three from Kupwara and one from Sopore joined Hizbul.
But why did Hizbul release photos on Wani's death anniversary?
A police officer in the know said releasing pictures on the second death anniversary of Burhan Wani was Hizbul's well-thought strategy.
"Burhan is the one who first used social media to attract young men towards militancy," he said.
He added this was Hizbul's attempt to glamorize militancy. Police said they already had inputs about recruits whose images were released.