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Student-turned-militant ‘detained’

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Police says he was ‘brought back to mainstream’

Srinagar, Dec 02: A missing Greater Noida University student who had reportedly joined militant ranks has been detained by the police, his family said on Sunday.

“He (my son) returned home but police arrived here and detained him. He (my son) was bleeding,” the father of the student told the media. “Please take him to the hospital first,” he pleaded.

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

“With the help of family and police an individual (name withheld) has been brought back to the mainstream. Further details shall follow,” police said on Twitter.

The 20-years-old student, who is a resident of Khanyar area of downtown Srinagar, went missing on October 28 from his hostel at Sharda University in Greater Noida, nearly a month after he was assaulted during a group clash at the varsity between Indian and Afghan students. He later showed up on social networking sites wearing a black turban and black pathani suit with ammunition pouch tied to his chest amid an Islamic State flag on his back.

The news of his disappearance had left the family shell-shocked and they knocked every door possible to convince him to return.  Pictures of family members with folded hands splashed in local newspapers with a request for him to return home “at least to shoulder the coffin of his parents” earlier last month had motivated the young man to approach his family.

His parents made passionate appeals to militant groups to send home their son, who was studying B.Tech at the Sharda university in Noida. They stated “he is the only son in entire Sofi clan and should be allowed to join back his family.”

His father Bilal Sofi was quoted in the appeal as saying “My son, you used to say heaven lies beneath the feet of parents, so come and live with us again.”

These appeals and back channel negotiations finally yielded results when he returned to his house this afternoon. Immediately, a police team took him to an undisclosed location for providing medical help.

A senior police official rubbished the claims that he had been detained.

“We are human too. We support the parents of the young man. There is no case registered against him and he has been taken only for medical assistance required. The family members are with him,” the official was quoted as saying by PTI.

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