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Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 1:30 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 1:30 AM (IST)

Arrested J&K students’ kin, friends in shock, disbelief

Trio influenced by Zakir Musa’s ideology, say police

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 11

The family of Yasir Rafiq Bhatt, who was among the three J&K students arrested from a local institute on Wednesday for suspected terror links, has expressed shock and disbelief over the development.

“It seems that my nephew (Yasir) is paying the price for being Zakir Musa’s cousin. He is a simple boy. We don’t believe he carried weapons,” said Abdul Rashid Bhatt, father of Musa, head of militant outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.

However, Police Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said, “These are impressionable young men who have been influenced by Musa’s ideology. Their social media handles are self-explanatory. Based on reports, we are also looking into the involvement of other youths in the region. An investigation is on. Guidelines should also be issued to hotels and PGs to verify the antecedents of customers and tenants.”

“We sent Yasir to Punjab to study, to build a beautiful future, which was impossible in Kashmir,” Abdul told The Tribune on the phone from Kashmir on Thursday.

Yasir was a top volleyball player at the CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology, while Zahid Gulzar had done well in the JEE (Mains) earlier this year.

Khalil Ullah Imtiaz, a BTech student at the CT institute and a friend of Zahid and Yasir, said, “I have been their room-mate for a year. I can’t believe that they had kept weapons.”

Another classmate, Junaid, said, “They are bright students. After their arrest, things might get difficult for us. Most Kashmir students have been coming to Punjab because they find it safe here.”

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