Missing 19-Year-Old Sharda University Student Allegedly Joins ISIS

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Ehtisham Bilal's family have appealed to him to "shun violence" and "come back".

Srinagar:

A picture of a missing college student wielding a gun with an ISIS flag in the background has surfaced on social media, triggering concerns that he has joined the terrorist outfit. Ehtisham Bilal, a student at Sharda University, a private university in Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida, disappeared on October 28, days after allegedly being beaten up by a group of students on the campus.

The 19-year-old was pursuing a bachelor's degree in radiology and imaging technology at the university.

A six-minute audio has released on social media, Ehtisham is heard announced that he has joined Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir and accepting ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as his leader.

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The audio, carried with an image of Ehtisham donning a black dress and turban with the ISIS flag in the background, has gone viral.

Ehtisham is a resident of Khanyar in downtown Srinagar. His parents released a video urging have him to shun the path of violence. His mother appealed to him to return home and requested "any group" which may have "kept Ehtisham" to release him.

His father Bilal Ahmad, said that Islam doesn't allow anyone to disobey ones parents.

"Islam does not allow anybody to disobey his parents. I appeal and order you to return home. Seeing you on the social media wherein you have claimed allegiance to the Islamic State has disturbed me. Your ailing mother cannot live without you," he said.

Ehtisham's sister, Sadiqa, appealed to her brother, saying "I cannot live without you. For Allah's sake, come back."

The police say that they are trying to "ascertain the facts" regarding Ehtisham allegedly joining ISIS.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said that the possibility of Ehtisham joining the terrorist outfit is extremely "worrying".

"If this is genuine it's hugely worrying. Sometimes seemingly small actions have huge consequences. If what happened to him at #ShardaUniversity has lead him to choose such a destructive path it's even more tragic. One more life on the path to ruin & one more family in turmoil," he tweeted.

(With inputs from IANS)

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