haider

Saqib Bilal, who had a brief role in the Bollywood film Haider, has been killed in an encounter in Mujgund, on the outskirts of Srinagar. On 9th December, Saqib and another boy from class 9 were killed after an 18-hour gun battle with security forces, as per a report. The two teenagers had left their homes in August and joined the militants immediately after they disappeared, the report stated.
“For more than a month, we went to places to find them. Ultimately, we realised the unthinkable,” Asim Aijaz, Bilal’s maternal uncle, said.
“He had an interest in engineering. We could never understand why he joined. In fact, he left home on the day to buy some groceries. People had seen the two boys riding behind a third person on a bike,” Aijaz said.
Bilal had cleared his Class 10 with a distinction and was studying physics, chemistry and maths in Class 11. He was a football aficionado and had even played taekwondo and kabaddi. The other boy belonged to a poor family and Saqib came from a well to do farming family.
Bilal’s family said he had an interest in acting and had done a small role in Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie Haider.
“He was in his sixth class when he appeared for two brief shots in Haider which have appeared in the film. In one of the shots he appeared as a ‘chocolate boy’ and in another, he acted of surviving a violent incident in a bus,” Aijaz said.
“Before his Haider stint, he appeared in a stage show ‘Weath chi Yeahi (This is the river)’ at Tagore Hall in which he was the protagonist. He managed to get an award and even went to Odisha to repeat the performance,” Aijaz said.
The death of the two boys has triggered anger and grief in Kashmir. People not only questioned the militants for allowing minors in their ranks but have also castigated the security forces for going for the kill when minors were involved.

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