Shujaat Bukhari

In J&K, many people had disappeared while in custody

  • People ready to give double the Government compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to know their kin's whereabouts
  • A woman says disappearances are taking place even under Azad's rule

    SRINAGAR: Scores of people assembled in a local park here on Monday sat silently for many hours to register their protest.

    It was a unique way to give vent to feelings by the kin of hundreds of those people who have allegedly disappeared while in custody in the last 16 years.

    Rejecting the Government's offer to give cash compensation that too after proper verification, many offered double the amount to the Government just to let them know "whether my relative is dead or alive and if dead give us the body." The Government had offered Rs. one lakh as relief.

    In the crowd there is a young woman who swore that she would not marry till the whereabouts of her brother were known.

    Hameeda is one who has made up her mind to say no to the compensation that the Government is offering. Her brother Bashir Ahmad was allegedly picked up by troops of the 61 Battalion of the Border Security Force on June 17, 2003 from his residence in Naid Kadal area of Srinagar at 1.30 a.m.

    His whereabouts are not known since then, despite his parents and Hameeda running from pillar to post to find what happened to Bashir after that ill-fated night of 2003.

    Disappearances rising

    Though the number of disappearances is rising with each passing day, the parents and relatives of disappeared persons are relentless in their struggle for justice Parveena Ahangar, the woman who founded the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) a decade ago, is leading the affected families going from Srinagar to Delhi to Manila and Bangkok to plead their case.

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