The family and relatives of a missing Kashmiri student Ehtisham Bilal Thursday organised a sit-in here and made a passionate appeal to Governor Satya Pal Malik and all others to help trace their lone son.
Ehtisham’s father Bilal Ahmad Sofi and ailing mother Irfana joined the protest together with their relatives to seek the whereabouts of their son, who is pursuing B.Tech at Sharda University campus in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.According to Ehtisham’s father, all was well until October 4.
“I used to talk to him every morning and evening. All was well,” he said. “When I spoke to my son on October 4, he told me that he was beaten up by some students for looking like an Afghan native. I spoke to the university authorities and they asked me if I wanted to get FIR registered against those who thrashed my son.”
Sofi said he decided not to file any case.
I told the university authorities that I won’t file any case because doing so can jeopardise my son’s career,” he said.
On October 28, Sofi said, Ehtisham’s mobile phone was repeatedly switched off.
“I spoke to him in the morning (on October 28). He sought Rs 1000 to pay Rs 400 for some farewell party. I transferred Rs 5000 to his account but he had withdrawn only Rs 400,” he said.
“October 28 morning is when I last spoke to my son. After I called his phone number at 4.30 pm that day, it was switched off and my heart started beating fast,” Sofi said.From October 28 to November 1, Ehtisham’s phone was continuously off.
His father said he went to Greater Noida police station to lodge a complaint.“I have also lodged a missing complaint in police station Khanyar (Srinagar). However, there is no outcome as of now,” he said.Perturbed by son’s disappearance, Ehtisham’s mother Irfana fell ill and had to be admitted to a local hospital where she was put on drugs and continuous glucose drips.
During Thursday’s sit-in at Press Enclave here, Sofi said: “We are four brothers. Ehtisham is the only son in the family.”Tears rolled down Sofi’s face as he started narrating the sequence of events. Sitting on a wheel-chair, Ehtisham’s distraught mother—unable to speak properly due to illness—said: “Please help us bring back Ehtisham. He is my only hope.”
Sofi said he has been getting countless phone calls from police officials saying his son’s phone locations continue to change.
“I was told by an official that Ehtesham’s phone location was Poonch. Yesterday, a police official told me that his phone was traced in Sopore. I don’t know what to do; somebody bring back my son,” he said.
Sofi, a shopkeeper by profession, said he worked hard to earn money for better education of his lone son and was contented by the outcome.“He didn’t let the money I spent on him go waste. He was a topper in his school and would always make me feel proud,” he said.
Ehtisham decided to go for B.Tech at Sharda University some four months ago. “I told him it’s alright and he should get ready for his admission,” Sofi said.
VERIFYING ALL ANGLE S’
Additional director general of police (law and order/security), Munir Khan said that the police are aware of the case.“We are verifying all angles, ascertaining his last call. Things will be clear very shortly,” he told.
A police official in Greater Noida confirmed that Ehtesham had boarded a GoAir flight from New Delhi to Srinagar. “The flight had landed in Srinagar at 3 pm,” the official said.