A Kashmiri father has been digging for son’s body

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In Jammu and Kashmir, a father has been digging the land in search of his son for the last eight months. Manzoor Ahmed Wagay hopes to one day find the body of his 25-year-old son Shakir Manzoor. His son was in the Territorial Army and has been missing for the last 8 months.

On August 2 last year, soldiers of the Territorial Army were traveling between Balibora to the Bahibagh army camp in Rifleman Shakir Manzoor Shopian area. During this time, since it was Eid that day, Manzoor went home to meet his family and came back after lunch at 5 pm. His 56-year-old father Manzoor Ahmed Wagay said that this was the last time he saw his son.

The last time Shakir called his family half an hour after he was removed from the house, he said that he was going to some friends. If an officer asks about his whereabouts, they should not worry. Wagay says that his son was kidnapped and wanted to talk to him one last time.

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Hours later that day, Shakir’s vehicle was recovered from a farm in Kulgam district, about 16 km from his village. About seven days later, his clothes were found in a ditch 3 km from the house. As soon as Wagay saw Shakir’s brown shirt and pants, he started crying. The clothes were soaked in blood, a piece of a shirt was also found inside the burnt vehicle.

Shakir’s family believes that it may have stayed here in the scuffle that took place during the kidnapping. A week after the jawan’s murder, an audio clip went viral on social media. It claimed, “Just as the body of a militant killed in an encounter is not given to his family by Jammu and Kashmir authorities.” Similarly, his body will not be given to his family after the soldier is killed.”

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Shakir is said to be missing in the record, Shopian Superintendent of Police Amritpal Singh says that “the case is under investigation and efforts are on to trace the body.” Wagay is sure that his son has been killed. He said, “A woman saw four people beating him and torturing him.” There is blood on the clothes, I don’t think he can survive.”

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His brother Shahnawaz said “We demanded a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) investigation into this case, but nothing has happened. The police investigation also led nowhere,” Article 14 reported.

His father said his son had donated around 42 pints of blood since he was a teenager. “That is why people in this village and around are still in shock and have not stopped looking for him,” Manzoor said.

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