26/02/2016 12:26 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Hizbul Chief Praised Terrorists Even As Army Rescued His Son In Pampore Attack

RIZWAN TABASSUM via Getty Images
Syed Salahuddin, chairman of the 16-party United Jihad Council, who is also supreme commander of the hardline Hizbul Mujahedin group, addresses the demonstrators during a protest to mark Kashmir Solidarity day in Karachi on February 5, 2015. Pakistan observed Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 to denounce Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region claimed in whole by both countries. AFP PHOTO / Rizwan TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)

When the Indian security forces rescued around 120 civilians and employees trapped in a terrorist attack in a government building in Pampore, Kashmir, last Saturday, little did they know that one of them was the son of Syed Salahuddin, the Hizbul Mujahideen chief. Syed Muheeb, a 31-year-old MTech graduate, who has no ties to militancy, works for the government-run Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) where the attack took place, claiming the lives of five army men and one civilian.

"Yes, he was one of the many rescued (by the security forces)," Mohammad Ismail Parrey, director of the EDI, told The Telegraph.

Muheeb, who was hired a few years ago, works as a manager in the EDI. Parrey told The Telegraph that the EDI employees were allowed to go by the militants after the first two hours of the attack, though the encounter with security forces dragged on for three days, finally coming to an end on Monday after three of the terrorists were killed. The only civilian casualty was a gardener who was caught in crossfire.

Meanwhile, Muheed’s colleagues said it was not relevant that he was Salahuddin's son. “How is it a big deal? He is a civilian like us and is living a normal life," one of his colleagues told Hindustan Times. "The media hype over the issue has perturbed him and his family. They are very scared.”

"Why do you want to carry news of only his evacuation when all of us were evacuated?" asked Abdul Rouf Khan, another colleague of Muheeb's who works at EDI as a trainer. "He is one among us."

Salahuddin had praised the Lashkar-e Taiba militants who had attacked Pampore for giving the security forces “a tough fight” and even announced a gallantry award for them, reported The Times of India. He has two other sons besides Muheeb.

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