Missing Bandipora teacher found dead, body recovered from Wular Lake

A teacher who had gone missing after he left for his duty last week in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district was found dead on Monday.

An official said that the body of Mushtaq Ahmad Lone of Sheikhpora locality of Mantrigam village was recovered in the morning from Wular Lake near village Laharwalpora.

He said that his body was spotted in Wular lake by locals of Laharwalpora and they informed the police.

“The body was taken to district hospital Bandipora for post-mortem where he was also identified by his brother and his relatives,” the official said.

On May 13,  Mushtaq had left from home to attend his duty at government high school Chuntimulla where he was posted as a teacher. He didn’t return.

On May 18, family members and locals of Mantrigam village held a protest demonstration to seek his whereabouts.

The body was handed over to the family for last rites after the performance of  medico-legal formalities.

Meanwhile, police have initiated proceedings under 174 Cr.PC to ascertain the cause of his death.

“The body of the deceased person was spotted by locals in Wular Lake and accordingly police reached on the spot and took the body into their custody. FSL team was rushed to the spot. The medical team was constituted for post-mortem which included experts from GMC Srinagar , The post-mortem was conducted in the presence of Magistrate,” said the spokesman.

He said that proper photography and videography was done of the entire proceedings. “Public is requested not to pay heed to rumours. Misusing social media to spread rumours is punishable under law,” he said.

Meanwhile, the family of the deceased teacher has raised questions over the investigation conducted by police, blaming the police for failing to trace him over the past 7 days.

“Whatever investigation police has done so far was not done properly and that is the reason this incident happened. Three days ago his (Mushtaq’s) WhatsApp display picture was changed which means his mobile phone was with someone, which police have failed to trace so far. We have our doubts about the police investigation,” deceased’s brother Manzoor Ahmad said.

“A few days ago police had also picked up some auto driver for questioning who had recorded two contradictory statements in two days. Police didn’t investigate the case properly,” he said.

Meanwhile, protests erupted  at Mantrigam after his body was handed over to his family.

Witnesses said that villagers including women and children took out a protest march demanding a thorough probe into the death of Mushtaq.

Senior Superintendent of Police Bandipora Rahul Malik said that they are enquiring the case from all the angles. “Proper medical investigation has also been done and the report will come after a week or so,” he said.