Social Media Campaign Brings Footballer Turned Militant Back To Family

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Srinagar: – For the first time in the three decades of conflict, the people of Kashmir used social media to reach out to militants and Indian army to bring back lone son to a family who had abandoned his passion for football and taken up arms for ‘freedom’ of Kashmir.

While Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group reportedly discharged Majid Irshad Khan, paving way for his return to normal life, Indian army too announced that it would allow Majid to live a normal life.

Blonde haired 20 year old Majid Irshad Khan, an ace footballer from South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, disappeared from his Sadiqabad home on 9th of November 2017 and reappeared in a militant outfit on face book flashing an AK 47 assault rifle two days later.

His parents and those who knew him were shocked at the sight. More so because Majid took up arms at a time when Indian army has been on a killing spree of militants under ‘Operation All Out’.

Police sources claim 170 militants were killed this year so far.

Desperate family took to social media appealing Majid to return. Many more joined in.

Such a plea from people asking a rebel to shun the path of violence is rare in Kashmir where militants are usually praised and supported for joining resistance ranks.

The social media campaign, earlier in Kashmir was used to glorify and boost the morale of militants, many of whom take up arms due to police hounding.

Majid is the only son of his parents.

Majid’s mother Ayesha Begum, posted a fervent video appeal online, urging her son to come back.

“I am waiting for him. I want him to return… I want him to play football again,” his mother can be heard pleading in chocked voice with moist eyes in the video.

Within no time, the video vent viral on social media platforms and thousands of people especially youth joined the chorous asking Majid to return home and look after his parents.

A friend, ?Bilal Rafiq pleaded for his return citing a hadees. “Do not leave alone your parents even for Jihad.

“A person once approached the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and said: “I have an old father and mother, who due to their attachment towards me, are not keen for me to go to Jihad.”]

[Hearing this], the Noble Prophet said: “(If such is the case then) Stay with your parents for, by the One in whose control lies my soul, their attachment of one day and one night to you is better than one year of Jihad.” —Biharul Anwar, Volume 74, Page 82

Majid heeded the calls and reportedly surrendered before counter insurgency 1-RR of army at Khanabal Thursday night around 10:30 pm. He was later handed over to Victor Force, based in Awantipora, sources said.

“Yes, he is with us. After watching his mothers video Majid was told by companions at Lashker to go back home and serve parents,” a cousin of Majid told Kashmir Observer.

Addressing the media in Pulwama, Major General B.S. Raju declared Majid a ‘brave young man’. “The brave young man, Majid Khan, decided on his own to shun violence and return to lead a normal life pursuing his academics and passion for football”, Raju said.

“He was neither apprehended nor did he surrender. We only facilitated his return,” he added. Majid made a brief presence at the press conference.

Inspector general of Police, Kashmir Range, Muneer Khan, said no charges would be pressed against Majid and he would be straightaway allowed to join his family.

Later Army in a press statement said that with the help of social media campaign, Majid was back to live a normal life.

“The boy had gone astray a few days back however, on his own initiative he has shunned the path of violence and understood his obligations towards his parents. The security forces facilitated his return,” reads the statement.

According to the statement, the security forces have reassured him and his family that no charges will be pressed against him.

His return was widely hailed on social media.

“We Are Proud Of You Bhai! Never Feel Low! You Returned Back Because You Had To Look After Your Parents!

People Who Will Call You Coward Are Themselves Under Blanket And All They Can Do Is Type! We Love You And Are Proud Of You! Serve Your Parents And Earn Jannah! You’ve chosen the Best Way.” posted a user Zeyan Shafiq on his wall.

Meanwhile, Majid Khan’s family expressed gratitude to all those who campaigned and prayed for their son’s return.

 

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