Lucknow, Nov 3: A day after it emerged that a Kashmiri teenager, studying at a private university in UP, had become a terrorist, the Uttar Pradesh Police said that the authenticity of the photo, which shows the missing student with the Islamic State flag in the background, is yet to be ascertained.
Ahtesham Bilal Sofi a resident of downtown Srinagar, was a first year graduation student at Greater Noida's Sharda University. He went missing on October 28 after he left the university with official permission to go to Delhi.
UP DGP OP Singh
"19-yr-old Ahtesham Bilal was a student at Sharda University. In October, he went to Srinagar. Later, a video surfaced showing him as a part of ISJK (Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir). We cannot certify if the video is fake or morphed, and if he has become a terrorist..We have shared information with J&K Police, they will investigate it further. We are keeping a tap on the developments that may take place either in UP, at Sharda University (Greater Noida) or Jammu and Kashmir," said OP Singh, UP DGP. (Image credit - ANI/Twitter)
Picture that went viral
The pictures on social media showed Sofi dressed in a black outfit and claimed he had joined terrorist group ISJK, an outfit influenced by ISIS ideology.
The UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) said it has been tracking the case since October 28 and has taken cognizance of the photos.
"We are in touch with Jammu and Kashmir police. We are tracking the footprints of the boy from Greater Noida to Kashmir," Inspector General, ATS, Asim Arun told PTI.
His phone was traced to Pulwama
The Jammu and Kashmir police said they were "ascertaining" Sofi's presence in the Valley.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar police, who had traced the last location of Sofi's mobile phone to terrorism-hit Pulwama district in South Kashmir, is also probing the matter.
"A missing complaint was registered and police teams are working on the case," a senior official told PTI.
Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport
According to the police in Noida, Sofi had left for Srinagar from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in the afternoon of October 28 and reached Pulwama a few hours later.
They said his mobile phone details showed that he last spoke to his father, who lives in Srinagar, at 4.30 pm, when his location was traced to Pulwama. However, he had told his father that he was is Delhi and was returning to the university by metro, the police said.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs