Army denies hand in Kupwara man’s disappearance but doesn’t present crucial record

The report further reads: “The concerned army unit has so far not produced the entry/exit register of the Trehmukh camp before the SIT for which they have been requested.”

SHAFAQ SHAH
Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 22 2018 12:24AM | Updated Date: Feb 22 2018 12:24AM
Army denies hand in Kupwara man’s disappearance but doesn’t present crucial record

The army has denied its involvement in the disappearance of a man, Manzoor Ahmad Khan, who went missing after his detention at an army camp in Kupwara last year.

The army has stated its non-involvement before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is investigating the case. However, the army has not submitted before the SIT the register where it keeps a record of the people entering and exiting the camp. 

A report submitted by the police before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) reads: “After a lot of correspondence and persuasion the concerned army authorities presented the accused/other army officers/officials at the headquarters of 8 sector RR, Cheirkote, Lolab, where they were questioned thoroughly by the SIT. They have denied their involvement in the case.”

The report further reads: “The concerned army unit has so far not produced the entry/exit register of the Trehmukh camp before the SIT for which they have been requested.” 

The police filed the report before the commission after chairperson International Forum for Justice and Human Rights Ahsan Untoo filed a petition.

Manzoor, a resident of Lolab Kupwara, was disappeared on August 31, 2017, after he was picked up by the army and allegedly tortured inside the camp.

As per the police report a FIR was lodged at police station Lalpora by Jalal Din Khan, cousin of Manzoor.

Jalal Din had stated that he, his nephew Manzoor and sister Parveena had gone to Trehmukh Bekh where they used to stay during summers as part of their shepherding schedule.

The army camp of 27 RR located near Trehmukh has made it mandatory for the visiting people to make an entry in the register regarding their arrival/ departure to /from the area. 

“Manzoor went to the army post sentry, police for making an entry in respect of all the three persons, while as the complainant and his sister kept waiting outside the camp,” the complaint reads.

“However Manzoor didn’t come out of the camp but was rather taken inside the camp by Nishant Kumar, the company commander. Jalal din asked the sentry why didn’t Manzoor come out of the camp but the sentry didn’t give any reply and Khan kept waiting outside,” it added.

In the meantime, the police report states, “the relatives of Nasrulla Khan who had also been detained in the said army camp on the same day and was tortured also appeared there and started enquiring about him. But the army threw him out.”

In the FIR, Manzoor’s kin said that he was detained with the “intention to kill him and that all this has been done by Major Nishant Gupta of 27 RR who is the camp commander of Trehmukh top.”

The SIT headed by additional superintendent of police was constituted by the district police officer Kupwara 4 September 2017.

The additional SSP along with others visited the scene of crime, prepared a site plan and also recorded the statement of witnesses. 

“The said Manzoor Khan was thoroughly looked for in the area and elsewhere, but has not been traced so far,” the police report said.

“His mobile number has been kept under continuous surveillance but has not been used since 31-8-2017, the day of occurrence, nor has his hand set been used. A large number of people of the area has been questioned but no clue has found,” it adds.

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