26 years on, no trace of missing Nowhatta man

Appeal human rights groups to help in locating his whereabouts

AUQIB SALAM
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 22 2018 12:27AM | Updated Date: Jan 22 2018 12:27AM
26 years on, no trace of missing Nowhatta man

On the 26th anniversary of disappearance of a Nowhatta man in forces custody, his family has sought his whereabouts.

Sirajuddin Farooqi, according to his family, was picked up by Border Security Forces on 22 January 1992 during a nocturnal raid on the house of chief of Al-Umar militant outfit, Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, at Nowhatta.  

“Since then we have failed to track his whereabouts,” his family members said. Farooqi was Mushtaq’s brother-in-law. In the raid, the family said that Mushtaq’s brother Fayaz Ahmed Zargar was also arrested, but he was released after three months.

Farooqi, who originally hails from Safa Kadal area of Downtown, had gone to his in-laws house to have a ceremonial dinner. “We don’t know whether he is dead or alive. We are waiting for his return from last 26 years,” said Fayaz Ahmad Zargar who is Farooqi’s brother-in-law. 

“When we were picked up by the BSF men, we were together for three days. I had told Farooqi to speak loudly so that I can feel he was with me as our eyes were closed with cloth,” recalls Fayaz.

Fayaz said he was released after three months at Chowkibal in Kupwara district. “They released me blind folded and it was the locals of Chowkibal who brought me home safely,” he said. “I was told that my brother-in-law Farooqi has also been released, but when I reached home, I came to know that the forces had lied to me,” he added. 

Fayaz Ahmad continues to pin hopes that someday Farooqi may walk home. “We are hoping against the hope that someday our prayers will be answered and Farooqi would reach home again” he said amid sobs.

A family member said that they have been moving from pillar to post to seek any whereabouts of Farooqi, but to no avail. “Our all efforts have failed,” he added. 

“We appeal international human rights organizations to help us trace Farooqi. We have lost faith in the state machinery,” said a female family member.