Six years ago, a strapping 19-year-old man swam and rowed to rescue more than a dozen security personnel from a flooded facility near Samboora village in Pulwama. Locals and the government hailed his brave and selfless act. Now 25, Asif Muzaffar Mir has signed up for militancy however, there are no clear reasons what led him to go on this dangerous path.
Asif’s family members said that on August 10 their son went missing as he did not return home from his shop in the evening. He used to sell stationary items, perfume bottles at the neighbouring Kakapora market.
''We waited for a few days thinking he might have gone with friends but when he did not turn up, we approached police and registered a missing report,'' a family member told News 18.
But a few days later, police sources came to know that Asifhad joined the terror outfit- Jaish-e-Mohammad and he had even forbidden his family to look for him. A police official confirmed that Asif has indeed joined the militancy.
Asif was picked up by police several times, once he was jailed for two months in Srinagar and later in Pampore district. Nearly a month back, he was called to Jammu for questioning by the National Investigation Agency in Pulwama blast case, family members added.
''I am not sure if that could have led him to run away from home,'' said a family member.
Asif completed his graduation in Arts while his father is a retired private school teacher. He now ekes out his livelihood by leading prayers in his locality mosque. Asif's has only one younger brother who is studying in Class 11.
Similarly, another youth named Aadil Rashid, a resident of Charsoo village, Pulwama has also joined militancy. A final year BUMS student, he informed his parents about militancy in an audio message, where he asked them not to get sad. ''I have joined the mujahideen and you should not search for me. And pray for my success,'' he said.